The construction industry is continuing to do it tough with materials and skills shortages. Incoming federal ministers have reportedly put the backlog of visa applications for thousands of skilled workers at the top of their agenda. Some industry associations are not waiting around for the government to act on skills, but are creating their own accreditation bodies.
To add to the current pressures that the industry is under, the new federal government is planning to strip the Australian Building and Construction Commission of funding, as can be read here. ACIF calls on the new government to consult widely with industry before taking this step, and recommends that they ask the Productivity Commission to examine how it will affect the productivity of the industry. ACIF would like to see a collaborative rather than a confrontational approach on construction sites.
Construction has just begun on Victoria’s Suburban Rail Loop (SRL), a huge 90 kilometre project which will link every major rail line in Melbourne. Projects like these need stability in terms of skills, materials and industrial relations.
The upcoming pipeline of work can be viewed in detail in the ACIF Forecasts.
To put things in historical perspective, during World War II, Australia’s skills and materials shortages were much worse, but not only did we get through them, we went on to win the war. Likewise, we can use the current circumstances as an opportunity to assess how we can do things smarter and prevail.
Dr James Cameron
ACIF Executive Director
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