13 October 2021 - Roads Australia (RA) - the peak body for roads within an integrated transport system – says the Infrastructure Market Capacity Report released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) today adds further weight to its calls for procurement reform.
“Today’s report supports key recommendations in RA’s September 2020 Procurement Reform Report, around long-term pipeline visibility, potential skills shortages and workforce culture issues,” said RA CEO Michael Kilgariff.
“These challenges were also highlighted in RA’s submission to the current House of Representatives Inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-funded Infrastructure, and our joint submission with the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) on Australia’s skilled migration program. RA was also pleased to join with other industry groups recently in signing a joint letter that calls for a collaborative leadership group to drive reforms needed to successfully deliver the enormous national pipeline of infrastructure projects.”
“In particular, RA has called upon the Federal Government to play a leadership role in the development and coordination of a national infrastructure pipeline, in collaboration with other jurisdictions. This will help to produce a manageable flow of work and allow industry participants of all sizes to plan their activities more effectively.”
“This can only be achieved by supporting reforms to procurement that result in less adversarial relationships, encourage technological innovation, adopt a mature approach to risk allocation and embrace a more modern concept of value that is focused less on ‘cost’ and more on delivering optimal outcomes for governments, industry and the community.
“IA’s report notes that there is potential for one in three advertised jobs in the construction sector to go unfilled by mid-2023. This not only reflects the scale of the project pipeline as a result of post-COVID economic stimulus investment, but is also driven by long-standing cultural issues in the sector.”
“Excessive work hours and fatigue have given rise to poor mental health outcomes in the construction industry. These negative factors make it difficult to attract and retain talented individuals from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in construction.”
“To attract a sustainable workforce, we must ensure our people feel they can be innovative, experience personal safety, have opportunities for personal growth and feel included and valued.”
“RA looks forward to the opportunity to further address these issues when we appear before the House of Representatives Inquiry’s public hearing tomorrow.”