The Civil Contractors Federation Western Australia (CCF WA) has welcomed Premier Mark McGowan’s first Budget as Treasurer, which shows a strong and consistent pipeline of civil infrastructure works over the next four years.
CCF WA CEO Andy Graham said despite the challenges of COVID-19, the State’s major infrastructure delivery agencies and corporations – Public Transport Authority, Main Roads, Water Corporation, DevelopmentWA and Western Power/Horizon Power – had partnered with industry to deliver a record $4.3 billion civil infrastructure program last financial year, nearly $700 million more than the previous financial year.
“That’s been a huge effort under the circumstances by all involved, and demonstrates the strong working relationship between civil contractors and suppliers and our major clients in State Government,” Mr Graham said.
“This financial year, those infrastructure agencies and corporations are budgeting to spend a combined $5.4 billion, out of an overall $8 billion State Government asset investment program.
“That’s going to be a huge challenge given the skills shortages our industry currently faces, which is why we endorsed the State Government’s proposal to smooth the transport infrastructure pipeline.
“In the short-term, however, it has resulted in fewer opportunities for some contractors with spare capacity who were keen to bid on the new projects that have been deferred. So we encourage the government to work with those companies and find ways to support them in retaining that capacity.
“Going forward, we will continue to advocate against excessive aggregation of major projects. It makes sense to encourage a sustainable local contracting industry by procuring projects as head contracts that align with local capacity. This requires the delivery agencies to be adequately resourced so they aren’t compelled to aggregate projects.”