The Australian Constructors Association congratulates the Federal Government for investigating the impact of government procurement processes on the sustainability of the construction industry in its latest inquiry report Government Procurement: A sovereign security imperative released today.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said the inquiry findings support the urgent need for reform and the important role that the Commonwealth can play in making this happen.

“The issues are well understood—we just need to get on with implementing the solutions,” said Mr Davies.

“The Australian Constructors Association is already progressing initiatives that directly respond to five of the eight recommendations.

“The government and industry-developed Culture Standard will go a long way in supporting cultural reform that will see the industry become an employer of choice, including for women.

“Work underway through the Construction Industry Leadership Forum is already targeting the report’s recommendations on value for money, standardisation, project packaging and adoption of digital technologies.

“State based reforms are important, but the cornerstone of our advocacy efforts is the role that the Commonwealth can play in incentivising and coordinating reform through the Future Australian Infrastructure Rating (FAIR),” said Mr Davies.

“FAIR is the solution to the report recommendations to establish a mechanism for monitoring and rating project performance and verifying value for money.

“FAIR would also enable sharing of best practice so the industry can continue to improve.

“In fact, FAIR provides a mechanism for the Federal Government to coordinate and incentivise most of the proposed reforms in a consistent way across state government procurement processes without the need for any major change in existing federal governance processes or for any increased Commonwealth involvement”

“The time for talking is over—it is time for action.”

The Australian Constructors Association is calling on both sides of politics to commit to implementing the FAIR initiative in the first 100 days of office if elected.

“The skills shortage is knocking at our door and it will not be fixed alone by putting people on planes or sending them to TAFE.

“We have an opportunity to use procurement to not only improve industry culture and sustainability but to reduce waste and improve productivity.

“Productivity savings of more than $15 billion every year are possible and can be achieved through improvements to government procurement processes driven by implementation of FAIR,” said Mr Davies.

More information on the FAIR initiative.

More information on the inquiry report Government Procurement: A sovereign security imperative.