In announcing the formation of the Council, Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox said: "It has become clear to industry that the current and projected infrastructure pipelines will struggle to be delivered on time and budget without a closer relationship and coordination between government clients, contractors and the organisations that supply the products and materials for those projects.
"This risk was identified by both the recent Australian Infrastructure Audit, and the work being undertaken by the Australian Constructors Association with the NSW and Victorian governments through the Construction Industry Leadership Forum. They clearly identify that there are capability and capacity problems in the development and delivery of the huge pipeline of infrastructure projects across Australia.
"While there are mechanisms in place for contractors to collaborate with governments, businesses in the supply chain have been largely left out of the loop. To address this shortcoming, the new Construction Supply Chain Council will complete the collaboration puzzle and create a three-way dialogue between Governments, constructors and the construction supply chain.
"Formed by Ai Group and its construction supply chain members, the new Council will enable the industry's supply chain to have early and greater input into the projects as they are developed, rather than too late in the delivery stage as has often been the case in the past," Mr Willox said.
According to the Infrastructure Audit:
Australia's infrastructure needs will continue to grow over time as a result of population and economic growth. Rising demand for new infrastructure services has pushed our infrastructure to be bigger and more complex. While large-scale projects are becoming common place, they are also stretching the capacity of industry and government. At the same time, planning is siloed and poorly integrated, funding options are underdeveloped, projects face procurement issues and network maintenance is often an afterthought.
"In the absence of a coordinated effort involving the industry's supply chain, there is a real risk that essential products and materials will not be available when required, nor available at prices that are optimal for the successful completion of projects. This heightens the risk that products or materials of a poor or non-conforming nature may enter the marketplace to the detriment of businesses and the community which is paying for those projects.
"The Council, when fully established, will interact with Australian governments and peak industry organisations to improve procurement rules and processes and achieve greater employment and economic benefits from the infrastructure boom," Mr Willox said.
Lindsay Le Compte,
General Manager (Construction & Infrastruture)
Ph: 02 9466 5522