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Here you will find the latest news and advice from the CCF WA. Keeping you up to date with CCF WA Events, Training, News and Articles on best practice civil infrastructure.
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Construction industry groups have joined forces with the WA Police Force to launch the Partnership Against Crime Taskforce (PACT) with the aim of curbing theft on Western Australian construction sites.
The signatories to the PACT Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) are the WA Police Force, security specialists Braven Group Services, Master Builders WA (MBAWA), the Urban Development Institute of Australia WA (UDIA WA), and the Civil Contractors Federation WA (CCF WA).
Central to the PACT program is an online crime reporting platform, where building and construction contractors can quickly and conveniently report crime that may previously have gone unreported. There is also a 24/7 phone number for members of the community to report crime and suspicious activity.
Braven will work with WA Police, ensuring all incidents are recorded, and sharing information that will assist in investigating the crime and improve the likelihood of the offenders being caught.
WA Police Community Engagement Division Executive Manager Bernie Durkin said building site crime created a huge unnecessary cost to industry and the consumer. "There is a cost to repair damaged property, replace stolen items and a cost to conduct investigations," Mr Durkin said. "WA Police fully support this partnership to assist with building site crime reduction.”
Master Builders Executive Director John Gelavis said: “Building site theft and vandalism has been a major issue in the Building and Construction industry over many years. The significant financial costs to builders and consumers along with the emotional stress to delayed completion times impacts both the community and industry alike.
“The PACT program would allow incidences of site theft and vandalism to be reported and investigated more effectively, reducing crime while saving police resources."
UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said: “From a developer’s perspective, this is such an important initiative given the obvious financial implications of theft and vandalism, however community safety is also critical, and at the end of the day we want to foster strong, cohesive and safe neighbourhoods.
“This pact not only addresses the significant cost impact of theft and vandalism, it adds a level of comfort for residents knowing that their street or neighbourhood is being closely monitored and any crime will be reported swiftly."
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said CCF WA was proud to be part of this important initiative.
“While theft from building sites is probably more visible to the community, civil contractors are also constantly under attack from opportunistic thieves,” Mr Graham said. “On civil sites the main targets for theft include fuel, plant and machinery, copper pipe and electrical cable. Often, the damage done by thieves will be worse than the theft itself – for example, they will cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to steal a few hundred dollars’ worth of diesel, or they will rip out newly installed underground cable, requiring costly and time-consuming rework in addition to the value of the cable.”
Braven Group Services Director Craig Pages-Oliver said partnerships such as PACT had enormous potential to reduce crime and provide a significant saving of police resources.
“PACT will provide a conduit for businesses and the community to report crime with minimal effort,” Mr Pages-Oliver said. “This will mean more crimes are reported and we can build up a more accurate picture of the extent of construction industry crime.
“We’ll be able to ‘map’ the incident reports to identify high-crime areas, and demonstrate where more policing resources are needed.
“And by doing some of the preliminary investigative work, we will assist WA Police to identify and apprehend offenders.”
Western Australia’s civil construction industry has supported calls for direct Government stimulus to boost activity and save jobs in the residential subdivision construction sector.
The Civil Contractors Federation WA’s request came in response to a report released by the Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) today revising its forecast for dwelling commencements in WA this financial year down from 15,500 to 12,500. The HIFG report noted that COVID-19 “is likely to make an already bad situation worse”.
CCF WA CEO Andy Graham said the revised forecast could yet prove to be optimistic, with the full effects of COVID-19 still to be measured.
“What we do know is that new home construction activity in Western Australia, which was already at 20-year lows, is now going to fall at least another 20% this year,” Mr Graham said.
“That is deeply concerning news for those civil contractors and suppliers who rely on residential subdivision activity to stay in business.
“Most of these companies have ongoing projects in the short-term, which means they may not qualify for targeted Federal stimulus such as JobKeeper. But as those current projects come to an end these businesses are facing an uncertain future.
"Opportunities are drying up for the rest of this year, and next year, as land developers respond to reduced demand by deferring planned new stages.
“The last few years have been tough enough – a sustained downturn in subdivision activity will inevitably lead to substantial job losses.”
CCF WA endorses recent calls from building and land development groups for immediate stimulus including an increase in the First Home Owner Grant; an increase in the first home stamp duty concession; and fast-tracked development of community housing and affordable land developments.
Western Australia’s civil construction industry congratulates the State Government for signalling a strong commitment to reducing red tape in infrastructure procurement by introducing the Procurement Bill 2020 into Parliament today.
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said Finance Minister Ben Wyatt deserved praise for championing much needed and overdue reforms. “Tackling some of the entrenched practices in Government won’t be easy and it will take strong and committed leadership to effect change,” Mr Graham said.
“CCF WA has been saying for many years that procurement red tape is a significant impost on businesses in the civil infrastructure construction sector, and that more can be done to reduce that burden through greater consistency in contracts, tendering processes and prequalification requirements.
“The current wide variety of documentation and processes has long been a source of frustration for Western Australian civil contractors and suppliers who typically work for a number of different Government agencies, authorities and corporations at one time.
“And of course, it’s not just industry that bears the burden. This is a significant internal red tape issue for Government. The synergies and efficiencies that will flow from more consistent procurement will save the Government in areas such as tender evaluation, contract administration and legal reviews.
“Ultimately, higher bid costs and administration costs are reflected in higher costs to taxpayers.”
Mr Graham said a more consistent approach to risk transfer in contracts should result from the reforms.
“Common sense dictates that State Government instrumentalities should take a consistent approach to fundamental elements of contract risk such as delays, damages and latent conditions,” he said. “Standardised contracts would allow everyone in Government and industry to become more accustomed to their rights and obligations. This would mean less time managing and interpreting contracts and more time focusing on the safe and efficient delivery of infrastructure.
“Procurement reforms will benefit Government and industry alike, reducing red tape, boosting productivity, and realising greater value for money from every dollar spent on infrastructure.”
A coalition of Industry Associations and Trade Unions have joined together to develop guidelines for managing the risks associated with COVID-19 on Western Australian construction sites.
The guidelines will be regularly updated and made widely available within the Building and Construction Industry.
The Building and Construction Industry employs over 120,000 Western Australians, 94% of who are employed in small businesses, and turns over around $33 billion each year.
As an essential service, WA’s building and construction industry has continued to operate during the pandemic, with appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and other controls in place to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. To date, the industry has been successful, with no known cases of COVID-19 on construction sites.
Twelve industry associations and trade unions have agreed that maintaining up to date guidelines on how best to manage the health and safety risks from COVID-19 will support the industry’s continued safe operations, noting the need to manage these risks will be with communities and their industry for many months.
MATES In Construction CEO and coalition chairman Brad Geatches said: “While we’ve all been encouraged by the low number of COVID-19 cases in WA recently, publishing this guideline will help reinforce that the threat is still very real. The Federal Government’s new roadmap shows that physical distancing, hygiene and other COVIDSafe measures will need to continue to be observed on sites for some time.
“Our industry is large and diverse, so we decided it was important to capture the better practice COVID-19 risk management methods developed so far by the industry in one widely accessible
The guidelines address social distancing on site, hygiene, mental health and how to manage a range of possible COVID-19 related scenarios that could arise on a construction site.
The participating organisations are: CFMEU Construction & General Division WA; Civil Contractors Federation WA; Construction Contractors Association of WA; Construction Training Fund; Electrical Trades Union - Electrical, Energy & Services Division, WA Branch; Master Painters & Decorators Australia; Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association WA; MATES in Construction; National Electrical & Communications Association WA; National Fire Industry Association; Plumbing and Pipe Trades Employees Union; and ReddiFund.
An up-to-date (as at 21/08/2021) COVID-19 health, safety and wellbeing guideline for the Western Australian building and construction industry is available to download below:
COVID-19 guide 08-21.pdf
The civil construction training package has undergone a major review. Significant changes to the structure of Certificate-level (traineeship) qualifications and units of competency are proposed, with the aim of ensuring the qualifications meet industry's changing needs.
The revision includes:
Click below to view a summary of the draft changes:
Summary of draft training products_Civil Construction_20200504.pdf
Click here to download a zip file with details of proposed revisions to qualifications and units
(Or you can go to https://www.skillsforaustralia.com/project-page/civil-construction/ and click on 'Training Product Development'.)
PwC’s Skills for Australia is seeking feedback on the draft training products until close of business Friday 29 May 2020. You can email the team direct at firstname.lastname@example.org. CCF WA Members are welcome to provide feedback to CCF WA at email@example.com.
Fifteen years ago, Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan announced an “all-Western Australian consortium” of Doric and Brierty would build new railway stations at Rockingham and Warnbro, while another local company was awarded the Mandurah station contract.
A year earlier, the largest Mandurah rail line contract – for track laying and associated civil works – went to a consortium that included local contractors MacMahon and Multiplex.
These WA businesses benefited from a de-bundled approach, with design and construction of the Mandurah line packaged into nine separate contracts, giving local firms multiple opportunities to deliver key components of the project.
Times have changed, and nowadays most mega-projects – those exceeding $500 million in value – are delivered as single contracts. The Thornlie-Cockburn line and Yanchep extension have been bundled, despite being about 50km apart. The Morley-Ellenbrook line is also being procured as one main contract, albeit with some enabling works tendered separately.
These METRONET mega-projects are well beyond the financial capacity of local mid-tier contractors, which is why increasingly they are asking “what about us?”. Last week, recently formed lobby group Australian Owned Contractors lamented bundling of the Morley-Ellenbrook line “will once again result in a foreign tier one contractor delivering the project”.
The frustration is understandable. Proud Australian companies feel they are being locked out of major infrastructure projects in their own country.
The METRONET procurement strategy seems to conflict with the State Government’s strong commitments to local capability and jobs. When queried on this, it points to industry participation plans, which require head contractors to prove they are prioritising locals for subcontracting opportunities.
The reality is participation plans make little difference. Nearly all subcontracts on WA infrastructure projects are already delivered by local companies, mainly SMEs.
It’s WA’s mid-tier contractors – companies that have the financial capacity to deliver $10 million to $150 million projects independently, as head contractor – that miss out. These companies aren’t structured to subcontract and get no benefit from participation plans.
If we’re serious about building local capability, we need to provide more mid-tier head contracting opportunities for those local contractors that have continually demonstrated their commitment over many years to developing, training and maintaining a Western Australian workforce – not just on-site construction workers but also permanent management, engineering, administration and support staff in many and varied roles. Furthermore, they have built strong relationships with local suppliers of goods and services. In short, they are the lifeblood of the Western Australian civil construction industry.
This is not a jingoistic call for foreigners to be sidelined or for locals to be favoured. We’re asking for balance, and for a more equitable mix of contract sizes. CCF’s analysis of last year’s State Budget papers shows that $10 million to $150 million contracts could make up less than 15 per cent of WA’s major transport project pipeline by 2021/22 – down from about 40% currently – as the State Government ramps up METRONET.
Redressing this looming imbalance is vital to ensure we don’t lose local capability. In an infrastructure landscape increasingly dominated by billion-dollar projects, a creative and flexible approach is needed.
The New South Wales Government successfully de-bundled its massive $4.5 billion Pacific Highway upgrade into dozens of major contracts by hiring a tier one ‘delivery partner’ to assist with contract management. Here in WA, Main Roads has ensured at least some mid-tier involvement in the $800 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road project by strongly encouraging the inclusion of mid-tier contractors in the tier one-led consortiums – something that should have happened on the main METRONET projects. Main Roads is also considering a de-bundling strategy for the $275 million Bindoon Bypass.
The local industry doesn’t expect every infrastructure project to be de-bundled. There’s a place for mega-projects in the mix too. But if WA’s civil construction industry is to maintain our hard-won capacity and skilled workforce, we need a stronger pipeline of mid-sized contracts.
CEO, Civil Contractors Federation WA
(This opinion piece was published in The West Australian, May 1, 2020)
Fast-tracked tendering of about $2.5 billion worth of infrastructure projects, announced today by the State Government, will provide an important economic boost and help offset reduced activity in private sector construction, Western Australia’s peak civil construction body says.
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said Main Roads’ new Statewide Road Construction Panel, which would be used to procure a range of projects up to $20 million in value, would greatly assist in getting these projects underway quickly.
“This will help the contractors involved to maintain continuity of operations and keep Western Australians employed,” Mr Graham said.
“Main Roads conceived this panel last year before anyone had heard of the coronavirus, but it’s certainly going to help them respond. The panel structure will allow tendering to be streamlined, cutting red tape when it’s most needed, while keeping the process fair and competitive to ensure value for money.
“For the larger projects in the pipeline, we applaud the State Government’s move to try and accelerate environmental and other approvals. While these approvals are of course necessary, they sometimes take far too long, especially when both State and Federal approvals are required.”
Mr Graham said the industry was encouraged by comments from Federal Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge this week that the Federal Government is considering more funding for transport projects in order to provide an employment boost that will help compensate for the slowdown in residential and commercial building construction.
“A recent nationwide survey of CCF Members showed that 90% had some spare capacity, mainly as a result of private sector projects being deferred by the COVID-19 crisis,” he said.
“All Governments understand that right now is a great opportunity to utilise that capacity in the civil construction sector to provide jobs and economic activity, while building infrastructure that boosts our productivity and quality of life.”
WA’s civil construction and maintenance industry continues to work safely through the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering important infrastructure upgrades across Western Australia and supporting regional communities, says the industry’s peak body.
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said the State’s civil construction workforce continued to travel around WA building and maintaining our big State’s essential road, rail, power and water infrastructure.
“We understand that some local residents have felt anxious about workers travelling between towns and regions at these extraordinary times,” Mr Graham said. “But the State Government has been clear that it wants us to keep working, upgrading vital infrastructure while boosting the economy at both the State and local levels, and making our regions safer, more productive and better connected.
“CCF WA Member companies are always conscious of supporting the communities they are working in, employing local workers and sourcing local goods and services where possible.
“Residents of regional WA can rest assured that civil infrastructure projects are among the safest of all construction workplaces, and the strict and effective safety systems and processes we’ve refined over many years are again proving their worth as we deal with COVID-19. It’s been made clear to all civil construction workers that they must implement social distancing and hygiene measures at all times – both on and off site.”
Perth-based CCF WA Member Enviro Infrastructure is currently delivering essential structural refurbishment works to Bridge 0034, on Albany Highway in Williams.
Enviro Infrastructure General Manager David Schlueter said the project team comprised a combination of Perth-based and local tradespeople, operating under a strict COVID-19 management plan and detailed operational protocols.
“Enviro are prioritising contracting opportunities for local businesses in their operations across Western Australia and are proud to keep the wheels turning through these tough times,” Mr Schlueter said.
“We’re working with Main Roads WA to ensure that the safety of our team, the local communities in which we live and work and the general public is the highest priority. One advantage of competing these essential works during the current crisis is that disruption to the public is being minimised due to the low traffic volumes.”
Busselton-based CCF WA Member Leeuwin Civil is constructing essential infrastructure for public access to the Lake Kepwari development, near Collie for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA).
Leeuwin Civil Director Lissa Wypynaszko said the company’s scope of works includes roads, car parks, a boat ramp and other facilities. “The Lake Kepwari project also allows us to contribute to the economy of regional towns, like Collie, through subcontractors, materials, supplies, accommodation, meals, fuel and employment of locals,” Ms Wypynaszko said.
“Working in such a pristine natural environment, we already have extensive measures in place to limit our impact. This has been expanded to ensure we are not placing the Collie community at risk.
“We have previously undertaken contracts for DBCA in Collie and enjoy the opportunity to work on projects that will bring enjoyment to the community when restrictions are lifted.”
CCF WA Member Enviro Infrastructure delivering essential structural works at Bridge 0034, on Albany Highway in Williams.
CCF WA Member Leeuwin Civil constructing access infrastructure at the Lake Kepwari development, near Collie.
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Western Australia’s peak industry body for civil construction has welcomed a new $24.5 million support package for employers of construction trainees and apprentices.
The package announced by Premier Mark McGowan, Training Minister Sue Ellery and Construction Training Fund (CTF) Chair Reg Howard-Smith today includes an immediate $2,000 payment to employers of civil construction trainees, and a further $2100 in monthly ‘maintenance payments’ comprising $350 per civil construction trainee over six months.
Civil Contractors Federation CEO Andy Graham said the State Government and the CTF were to be congratulated for moving quickly to support the continuing employment of trainees and apprentices in the civil construction sector through the COVID-19 crisis.
“Our industry is feeling the effects of the crisis, with some projects being deferred and margins on existing projects eroded due to higher costs,” Mr Graham said.
“This bonus payment will help civil contractors to maintain their workforces as they deal with these financial pressures. Access to skilled local workers will be essential in the years ahead as the civil construction sector constructs and maintains the infrastructure needed to keep our State prosperous.”
Click here to read the State Government announcement.
Click here for the full list of qualifications covered by the CTF COVID-19 support package and the payments available.
The Western Australian civil construction industry is ready to partner with government to fast-track infrastructure projects and provide a much-needed economic stimulus, says the industry’s peak body.
Civil Contractors Federation WA CEO Andy Graham said the private sector civil construction pipeline in WA was already feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, with regular reports of projects delayed or deferred.
“Now is the right time for the State Government and Local Governments to step up and accelerate their project pipelines,” he said. “They will get great value for money, they’ll keep a vital sector of the economy healthy, and the community will benefit from upgraded infrastructure, improving productivity and quality of life for this generation and generations to come.”
Mr Graham said it was vital that any infrastructure stimulus package of projects provided a broad spread of opportunities for contractors of all sizes, particularly local mid-tier contractors who were the most consistent contributors to the local economy and a source of permanent employment for thousands of Western Australians.
“Now more than ever, we need to look after our own,” he said. “We’ve already seen too many government projects bundled up into large packages to suit the big internationals, leaving local companies to fight over the crumbs.”
Mr Graham said a firm signal of intent was needed soon from Government to maintain business confidence – not just contracting businesses but the thousands of local suppliers of construction materials and equipment and specialist services who depend on a strong pipeline of opportunities.
“Our message to Government on behalf of WA’s contractors, consultants and suppliers is – we’re here, geared up and ready to help deliver an accelerated program of essential infrastructure projects,” he said.
Mr Graham said the industry continued to demonstrate it can work safely and effectively through the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re proud to say civil infrastructure projects are among the safest of all construction workplaces, thanks to a concerted effort over the past 15-20 years by our industry in partnership with Government agencies,” he said. “The clear and effective safety systems and processes we’ve refined over many years are again proving their worth as we integrate strict hygiene and distancing measures in response to COVID-19.”
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