The North Queensland Civil Contractors Association has thrown its weight behind an initiative to ensure local contractors get maximum exposure to the $75 billion Federal Government investment pipeline.
Examining how procurement policy and practices can deliver better value for taxpayers and foster the development of expertise and experience in the construction sector is the focus of a report commissioned by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.
Speaking at a summit of infrastructure leaders in Melbourne, Mr McCormack said it was important taxpayers got maximum bang for their buck under the Government’s $75 billion decade-long infrastructure pipeline.
“As an informed investor, the Australian Government is committed to ensuring we deliver value for money for the Australian taxpayer,” Mr McCormack said.
“Around the country our investment is focused on improving safety and driving economic growth, creating around 50,000 additional direct and indirect jobs, and we want to maximise that benefit.
The imperative was to ensure nothing in the current Commonwealth and state payment arrangements hampered a competitive market as the infrastructure programs grew, he said.
“The community should have confidence the size of the Government’s infrastructure investment provides opportunities across the construction supply chain.”
“We know the benefits which can come from fair and reasonable opportunity for Australian businesses to compete for work.”
It was welcome news said the head of the newly formed North Queensland Civil Construction Association, Phil Cassell.
“We are concerned to secure more work for local contractors,” Mr Cassell said. “The benefits of investment in local projects flows out of regional areas with the appointment of southern-based contractors.”
“Locally based suppliers are as least as capable and more attuned to local conditions.
“We’re working with government to change contracting arrangements to enable local suppliers to be competitive.”
One of the changes they were working to implement was breaking up contracts into their component parts enabling local contractors to compete for work, Mr Cassell said.