CCF National Updates – October 2021
[Members Newsletter 2021 Oct]
I am pleased to advise that earlier this week I appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities to provide evidence to its Inquiry into Federally Funded Infrastructure Projects and to discuss CCF National’s submission.
The Committee is examining the challenges and opportunities for the civil construction industry that come with the Australian Government’s ten-year, $110 billion Infrastructure Program.
The CCF submission contains ten recommendations based on extensive feedback from CCF Members, including:
- improving the current federal, state/territory procurement frameworks and policies to deliver projects to market in a more streamlined and timely manner;
- providing greater opportunity for tier 2, 3 and 4 head contractors, for example through the disaggregation of major infrastructure projects;
- improving Australia’s sovereign capability;
- the use of collaborative contracts where appropriate to manage risk more equitably;
- ensuring there are appropriately qualified staff within government procurement agencies to manage the tender process;
- reinstating civil occupations on the National Skills Needs List so apprentices, employers, CivilTrain and Vet providers more generally can participate in the financial incentives on offer through the Commonwealth’s apprenticeship funding programs.
During my appearance before the Committee, I also discussed the need for a formal high level consultative mechanism involving CCF National, other key civil industry representative bodies and federal and state government infrastructure policy agencies to progress much-needed procurement and policy reform.
I was subsequently invited by the Committee to formally submit a CCF suggested consultative model which will be forward to the Committee next week i.e., the week beginning 11th October 2021.
In addition, I also highlighted the importance of infrastructure investment running in parallel with training, education and up-skilling funding in the civil infrastructure sector. This includes reinstating civil occupations on the National Skills Needs List.
The next steps of the Inquiry will involve the publication of the Committee’s report which will be tabled in Federal Parliament. This report – and the Government’s response to it – marks an important step towards identifying much needed policy and procurement reform for government funded infrastructure projects at both commonwealth and state levels. CCF National more importantly will use the report to advocate for reform that delivers the change the sector requires.
CCF National will keep members informed when the Committee’s findings are publicly released.
To download my opening statement to the Committee, click here.
To download the CCF National press release, click here.
To download media coverage of my appearance before the Inquiry, click here.
Chief Executive Officer
Civil Contractors Federation National
Labor Adopts CCF National Policy to Debundle Large Projects if Elected
CCF National has been successful in its push to have the Australian Labor Party commit to a debundling procurement policy on major civil infrastructure projects if its wins government at the next federal election.
Federal Opposition Leader the Hon. Anthony Albanese MP today publicly announced his party’s commitment to allocate more taxpayer funded civil infrastructure projects to Australian civil construction companies stating as follows:
“Labor will provide opportunities for mid- and small-tier Australian companies to participate in the infrastructure pipeline helping to build and strengthen our sovereign capability.
“This will be done by packaging tenders where appropriate into multiple packages that allow smaller companies to bid for them”, Albanese said in his address to the NSW Labor Party Conference today.
Chris Melham said that debundling major projects as a means of encouraging more tender bids from tier 2 companies and SME’s was a key theme of CCF’s recent report Rebuilding Australia – A Plan for a Civil Infrastructure Led Recovery (click here) which CCF presented to the Federal Government and the Australian Labor party earlier this year. It is pleasing to see the Leader of the Opposition is adopting CCF’s key infrastructure procurement recommendations to increase Australia’s sovereign capability. Chris also confirmed that both the government and the Federal Opposition have now adopted CCF’s debundling policy and committed to much needed infrastructure procurement reform with Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Barnaby Joyce also committing to the debundling policy last month.
For a copy of the CCF National Media release click here: https://www.civilcontractors.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/9-10-21-CIVIL-CONTRACTORS-FEDERATION-WELCOMES-LABORS-COMMITMENT-TO-ALLOCATE-MORE-INFRASTRUCTURE-PROJECTS-TO-AUSTRALIAN-COMPANIES.pdf
2021-2022 CCF National Policy Pillars
The CCF National Board met in September to finalise CCF’s policy platform at a federal level that identifies the key issues of relevance and significance to build a more sustainable civil construction industry in Australia.
This follows extensive input from all CCF State and Territory bodies at the June 2021 Advocacy Workshop held in Canberra prior to the lockdowns.
The policy pillars define the advocacy priorities of CCF National and the CCF National Secretariat and will form the basis of our advocacy activities in the lead up to the next election. The high-level policy pillars are:
- Infrastructure Investment
- Efficient, Equitable and Competitive Procurement
- Enhancing Skills Development and Training
- Enhancing Industrial Relations
- Building a Stronger, More Sustainable Industry
To download further information on the Policy Pillars, click here.
2021 CCF National Earth Awards
CCF National is pleased to announce that the 2021 CCF National Earth Awards are being held on Friday 12 November 2021 from 4.30pm to 6.00pm AEDT.
Given the ongoing restrictions being imposed on travel and large gatherings, the Awards will be staged virtually.
The Awards are free for anyone to attend, but registration is essential. To register, click here.
The CCF National Earth Awards recognise excellence in civil construction and are presented in six categories according to project value:
- Project value up to $2 million
- Project value $2 million to $5 million
- Project value $5 million to $10 million
- Project value $10 million to $30 million
- Project value $30 million to $75 million
- Project value more than $75 million
The CCF National Earth Awards are proudly brought to you by PSC Insurance Brokers, the official insurance partner of Civil Contractors Federation National.
We encourage you to register now to take part in the most prestigious awards in civil infrastructure.
Supplier Payment Reforms
The Federal Government has announced its new Payment Times Procurement Connected Policy that came into effect as of 1 October 2021.
Businesses that are awarded Commonwealth contracts valued over $4 million will be required to pay their supplier contracts (of up to $1 million) within 20 calendar days, or face interest penalties.
CCF National is currently in discussion with the Federal Government seeking further information to clarify if the policy directly affects the procurement of goods and services in the provision of federally funded civil infrastructure projects and we will provide members with a ‘Special Alert’ upon receipt of clarification from the Commonwealth.
To download the Payment Times Procurement Connected Policy, click here.
CCF National Skills and Capacity Survey
CCF members will soon receive an invitation to take part in CCF National’s 2021 Skills and Capacity Survey.
The aim of the survey is to obtain an accurate picture of the skills needs of CCF members and the reasons for shortages where they exist. It will also examine the capacity of the civil construction industry to take on more work and companies’ expectations for the future.
CCF National will use the survey results (as we did following the 2020 Survey) to support our advocacy agenda, including our efforts to lobby for funding to ensure there are sufficient skilled workers in the civil construction sector to support a thriving and sustainable industry.
CCF members should keep an eye out for an email from CCF National inviting them to take part in the survey and responses will be completely anonymous.
Civil Contractors Federation National is proudly partnering with PSC Insurance Brokers to provide a range of insurance products provided by PSC Insurance Brokers to CCF members. Click here for more information: (https://ccfinsurance.com.au/).