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4 May 2020
According to the Civil Contractors Federation’s (CCF) COVID-19 Member Survey, the construction sector has the capacity to take on more civil infrastructure projects and employ more workers.
The nationwide survey of the CCF’s construction company members was released to put together feedback and data on the effects of COVID-19. It analysed issues such as the ability for companies to tender for more project and their prospect to employ more workers.
CCF National Chief Executive Officer Chris Melham said the survey results reveal civil construction companies, particularly those operating at the tier 2, tier 3, and below have momentous capacity to help the Federal Government accomplish its goals of supporting the economy and to keep people employed.
“The survey sends a powerful message to the Federal Government that the civil infrastructure sector is ready to lead the economic recovery if governments inject more money into the sector for new projects,” Melham said.
He has previously written to the Prime Minister recommending that he bring forward spending from the already committed 10-year $100 billion infrastructure spending.
92 per cent of survey respondents said they would have the capability to tender for new projects up to $50 million if governments allocated funding for civil construction works.
In addition, 64 per cent of companies specified they would need to employ more workers if they were successful in tendering for additional projects. A further 29 per cent said they would contemplate employing more workers.
“It is important however that these projects are spread across as many tier 2, tier 3 and below companies across Australia to ensure widespread benefits can flow from any stimulus investment, particularly in rural and regional communities where infrastructure investment can deliver a significant multiplier effect to those local economies in the form of employment, training and community spending,” Melham said.
The CCF survey contains five recommendations for the Federal Government, these are as follows:
That the Federal Government increase the level of infrastructure investment in the short term by moving forward its 10-year $100 billion infrastructure investment fund and by using debt funding to increase the level beyond $100 billion in the post COVID-19 period.
That additional project monies be designated in a fair and equitable manner across all jurisdictions.
That the Federal Government compile and release a public agency supplier payment policy as a matter of urgency as a form of inserting cash into the civil construction supply chain by ensuring the immediate payment of all outstanding claims and prompt payment of all future claims.
That the Federal Government adopt a procurement policy that incorporates disaggregation of major projects to provide an opportunity for tier 2 companies to tender, for example, through joint venture agreements.
That the Federal Government consider as a matter of urgency reforms to contracts and the procurement policy/process aimed at achieving a more balance approach to risk allocation and the development of collaborative contracts.
The CCF National has given the survey results and recommendations to the Federal Government.