Australian construction newsbytes


Updated Tue, 02 Dec 2014 16:31:01 GMT

Australian Industry Group comments on the government’s revised building code

“The release today of a further version of the Government’s (Fair and Lawful Building Sites) Code 2014 reinforces the need for Parliament to urgently pass the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill. The bill will give legal effect to the code. The code will ensure that workplace arrangements on government funded projects are lawful, appropriate and productive,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.

“The existing inappropriate and unproductive laws and arrangements are having an adverse impact on every Australian. The laws and arrangements have led to higher construction costs and this has reduced the ability of Federal and State Governments to deliver vital community infrastructure. The rule of law needs to be re-established in the construction industry without delay to protect employers, employees, independent contractors and the community from unlawful and inappropriate conduct.

“The bill would restore similar arrangements to those that operated very successfully between 2005 and 2009 following the Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry. During this period the construction industry had never been a better place to work and invest, and the rule of law prevailed.

“From 2009 the former arrangements were watered down without justification and there has been an outbreak of unlawful industrial action and coercion on building sites, as is very clear from the evidence which has been heard by the current Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

“The bill needs to be passed by the Senate before Parliament rises for the year. It is essential that all Parliamentarians, including each of the 8 Cross Bench Senators, act in the public interest and support the bill. The self-interest of construction industry unions cannot be elevated ahead of the interests of the whole community, the thousands of small subcontractors that work in the construction industry, and the vast majority of employees in the industry who want to work in harmonious and productive workplaces,” Willox concluded.

2015 Australian Construction Achievement Award finalists announced

The Australian Constructors Association together with Engineers Australia has announced six project finalists to compete for the 2015 Australian Construction Achievement Award (ACAA). One overall project winner will be selected at a gala dinner on 14 May 2015 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

“The finalists of the Australian Construction Achievement Award, together with the construction companies and consortium members behind them, represent world-class expertise and innovation in the development and delivery of Australia’s major construction projects. These projects play a critical role in the daily lives of Australian society,” said Lindsay Le Compte, Executive Director of the Australian Constructors Association.

The ACAA finalists for 2015 are:

Adelaide Oval Redevelopment in South Australia.

Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) Project in Gladstone QLD.

Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth.

Gold Coast QLD Light Rail (GCLR).

One Central Park in Sydney.

Victorian Regional Rail Link.

Australian Constructors Association elects new President

At its Annual General Meeting, the Australian Constructors Association (ACA) elected David Saxelby, Chief Executive Officer of Lend Lease Construction and Infrastructure Australia Pty Ltd, as ACA President. In other Board elections, John Flecker, Chief Executive Officer of Brookfield Multiplex Australasia, was elected as one of two Vice Presidents along with Nick Miller, Managing Director of Fulton Hogan Group Limited.

Saxelby outlined key components of ACA’s 2015 agenda including a concentration on safety, workforce development, skills and greater communication between clients and industry on project development, financing and project delivery.

“Safety is always at the top of our list and we are taking significant steps in working with industry stakeholders and participants to assist them to improve the safety culture at worksites across the whole sector,” Saxelby noted. “We also see the expanding workforce and skills development as a critical issue as we take on the massive infrastructure agenda set by Australian governments. We need to be seen as a dynamic and exciting industry for prospective employees by identifying skills shortages and opening up opportunities in those fields. The infrastructure pipeline will provide significant lift to our industry, but we must ensure we work with clients to identify viable and sustainable projects, better ways of financing, allocating risk and effectively managing delivery.”