After extensive consultation with member associations over the past twelve weeks, the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) today issued the document Construction’s Bridge to Recovery, with a number of key recommendations to guide the construction industry out of the coronavirus disruption period.
ACIF Executive Director James Cameron commented, “As the building and construction sector represents almost 10% of the Australian economy, and the industry employs 1.2 million Australians in over 390,000 businesses, it is essential for Australia that we get this right.“
“We are calling on governments to pull forward and re-commit to spending already announced. These measures could raise building and construction activity by $66 billion over five years, which would have a very beneficial and stimulatory effect.”
“This stimulus spending should be spread across residential, non-residential and infrastructure construction, with much of the spending to go to small and medium-sized enterprises, and a focus on Australian-made products in construction. Social housing should be a particular focus of residential stimulus.”
”Further, ACIF calls for regulatory reform and regulatory requirements such as licensing and registration and inspections to continue as normal. The recommendations of the Building Confidence Report should continue to be implemented, and we welcome the most recent Building Ministers’ Forum communiqué stating that this would occur.”
“Fast government payments on projects of 1 to 5 days would definitely assist the industry at this time”, Mr Cameron added.
“ACIF calls for changes to government procurement processes to assist with the economic recovery and support Australian businesses, and endorses the recent announcement by the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in this regard.”
“Vocational and apprenticeship courses should be further supported, with incentives for apprentices to be retained and more hired. Further, incentives for employers to take on new or out of work apprentices, and bring candidates from outside the industry into entry level roles would all be nation-building.“
“Australia’s epidemiological and fiscal response to the coronavirus pandemic has been world class, and the liaison between industry and government outstanding. We can also have a very positive economic story coming out of this pandemic with the right policy settings”, Mr Cameron stated.