The upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra from 1-2 September will be reminiscent of the Hawke Government’s 1983 National Economic Summit, held at the time to try to turn the economy around and bring wages growth under control.  The fact that the Albanese Government wishes to bring together and listen to diverse stakeholders is very positive.  Let’s hope that there are some tangible positive outcomes.

At the moment, the construction industry is being hammered by four ‘whammies’ – increasing materials, labour and energy costs, and now also rising interest rates.  While there are a number of difficulties, it’s also important to remember the major positives, which can often be taken for granted and overlooked.  Firstly, there is a healthy pipeline of work, as articulated in the latest ACIF Forecasts. COVID vaccines have been quickly developed, allowing life to go back to relative normality (while noting rising cases at the moment). Migration is restarting, resulting in more skilled labour for the Australian construction industry.  Finally, federal and state governments are investing heavily in apprenticeships, which will further alleviate the skills shortages in coming years.  Let’s also remember and be thankful for all of these positives.

ACIF is currently liaising with state governments regarding ‘rise and fall contracts’, so that more companies in the industry due not suffer from factors beyond their control and potentially go into administration.  Some states have ‘rise and fall contracts’, but a number do not.  ACIF will also continue to liaise with federal and state governments regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Building Confidence Report.

 

Best wishes,

Dr James Cameron

ACIF Executive Director

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