Report: more funding needed for civil construction

A Civil Contractors Federation National (CCF National) commissioned economic report has found that there needs to be additional civil construction funding to garner economic and employment growth in the recovery from COVID-19.

The study, Rebuilding Australia, A Plan for a Civil Infrastructure Led Recovery, prepared by BIS Oxford Economics on behalf of CCF National, also analyses the risks to an infrastructure-led recovery that require urgent attention by all levels of government.

Chris Melham, Chief Executive Officer of CCF National, said, “This new report provides evidence that civil construction is central to the economic recovery, with investment in infrastructure generating an economic return of 3:1. It finds that for every $1 million invested, a total of $2.95 million of output is contributed to the economy.

“Furthermore, 7.2 workers are employed for every $1 million invested. So, a $250 million investment in a road, rail, bridge, utilities or port project would generate approximately 1,800 jobs.”

The report also highlights that boosting civil construction’s GDP contribution from 3.8 per cent to 4.1 per cent would generate 11,100 jobs, and boosting its GDP contribution to 4.5 per cent would create 36,100 jobs.

“In light of these figures, CCF National is calling on the Federal Government to significantly boost funding to civil infrastructure in the 2021-2022 Federal Budget to boost business confidence, support investment and create jobs,” Mr Melham said.

“Based on the findings of this report, CCF also encourages governments to use ‘debt-funding’ and to take advantage of historically low interest rates and invest these funds in productive infrastructure projects.

Rebuilding Australia, A Plan for a Civil Infrastructure Led Recovery proposes a number of remedies, including:

  • Improved planning and risk management
  • Streamlining and reforming the tendering process
  • Greater consideration of more collaborative procurement models
  • More appropriate contractual risk allocation
  • A greater focus on skills and training

“Action across these areas is critical if we are to harness the productive capacity of the civil infrastructure sector and maximise the economic benefit to the Australian economy, and CCF therefore looks forward to continuing its constructive dialogue with government at all levels to implement the findings of this report,” Mr Melham said.

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