The Australian Constructors Association welcomes the release of Infrastructure Australia’s updated Market Capacity Report.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the report confirms incremental change is not going to be enough to deliver the pipeline of work ahead—let alone keep the industry alive.

“Despite collaborative efforts to improve the sector, the problems are getting worse,” said Mr Davies.

“The construction industry is facing a worker shortage of 214,000 right now—and in 2023 labour demand is expected to double the available supply.

“The industry is delivering an enormous infrastructure pipeline while facing a major shortage of workers, all while operating below productivity levels seen 30 years ago.

“The industry is stuck in the past and, not surprisingly, it is failing to attract workers.

“Incremental change needs to become transformational change—now.

“And the only way to transform an industry that is operating in deeply engrained ways is to disrupt it.”

Solutions to the industry’s challenges are known—the Market Capacity Report contains many of these. But what has been missing is a mechanism to ensure reforms are implemented. The Australian Constructors Association is calling on the Federal Government to accelerate the adoption of reforms through the proposed Future Australian Infrastructure Rating (FAIR).

“FAIR is the disrupter—it is designed to ensure reforms are implemented by rating government funded projects on how well they performed against key reform areas such as improved productivity,” said Mr Davies.

“Everyone has a part to play, including contractors, but it is the government, if it chooses to, that has the biggest power to disrupt.

Implementation of the FAIR Initiative would fast-track the industry in becoming an employer of choice and equal opportunity. It would help accelerate the achievement of net zero targets. It would position the industry at the forefront of technological advancement, and it would be transformational.

“The construction revolution needs to start now.”

More information

Infrastructure Australia’s 2022 Market Capacity report

Australian Constructors Association’s Disrupt or die report