The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) commends Infrastructure Australia for releasing the updated Infrastructure Market Capacity Report today. ACA CEO Jon Davies said the report’s significance is a wake-up call, underscoring the immediate need for industry-wide changes to meet Australia’s infrastructure needs.

“The lack of substantial progress since the report’s inaugural release two years ago reinforces the need for bold, transformative action,” said Mr Davies.

“Current incremental changes are falling short; migration is on the rise, yet the workforce shortfall persists, with shortages already at 229,000 full-time workers.

“The reality is Australia’s construction industry needs to learn to do more with the resources it has but to do this the sector’s ‘operating system’ requires a complete overhaul—and someone needs to take the lead.

ACA commends Infrastructure Australia for its recommendations, particularly those focused on national strategies to enhance construction participation such as the work of the Construction Industry Culture Taskforce in developing a new industry culture standard. But a crucial element is missing—a transformative, all-encompassing approach to implement these recommendations now.

“ACA proposes a collaborative initiative led by the Federal Government, engaging state and territory governments, industry stakeholders and unions to develop a National Construction Strategy.

“Key components of the proposed National Construction Strategy include the development of nationally consistent procurement principles and a unified approach to construction data collection.

“The National Construction Strategy would also articulate a strategic framework for elevating the overall skill level of the construction industry. This includes reskilling initiatives to adapt to emerging technologies.

“With a National Construction Strategy Australia can finally create a sustainable industry that is forward-looking, embracing new ways of doing things, while being a diverse industry of choice for the next generation of the workforce.”