Reforming our sector for the benefit of all

Given that the construction sector employs close to 10 per cent of the working population and contributes 7.2 per cent of GDP, significant sums of money are being invested by all levels of government in the construction of new infrastructure to rebuild the Australian economy and provide employment opportunities for thousands of workers made redundant from heavily impacted sectors such as retail and hospitality. The rebuilding and prosperity of our nation are therefore heavily reliant on the strength and stability of the construction industry. Reliance on an industry struggling to make a return on investment, where productivity has barely improved in 20 years, cost/time over-runs are commonplace, and many projects are ending in contractual dispute has the potential to be problematic.

Many within the industry have long championed the need for fundamental change to the way in which projects are procured and delivered to address these problems. Initiatives such as the Construction Industry Leadership Forum (CILF) and Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT) have resulted in some positive outcomes, but these initiatives do not cover the whole of Australia and only apply to some industry sectors.

The time has therefore come for a more holistic approach to tackling the Australian construction industry’s problems; an approach that covers all.

In late 2020, the Australian Constructors Association published a series of thought leadership documents that charted a clear way forward. Starting with an analysis of the most pressing problems facing the industry, we then developed a framework for a more sustainable sector, followed by an industry charter comprising of 10 commitments to reform embraced by Australia’s leading construction and infrastructure contracting companies.

Through the publication of our thought leadership we aim to promote debate, encourage collaboration and engage stakeholders from across the sector.

Thought leadership documents

We hope to see the construction sector in Australia take its first serious steps towards becoming a vibrant and sustainable industry, where high value social and economic project outcomes are delivered consistently in a collaborative and inclusive environment that is seen as a role model for other industries.

Three pillar approach to change

Our thought leadership outlines three pillars that are essential to support a sustainable
construction industry:

  • Positive Industry Culture (less conflict driven industry will drive
    higher productivity)
  • Equitable and Aligned Commercial Frameworks (benefits of projects
    are spread across all stakeholders, not captured by a few)
  • Sufficient Capacity, Capability and Skills (lifting the skill base
    of the nation)

All three pillars are equally important and interlinked. For the
construction industry to become more sustainable there needs to be
a concerted and equal focus on improving each of the three pillars.

Find out more in our framework.