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Balancing Budget Must Not Short-change Queenslanders and Contractors

Ahead of the Federal Budget, Queensland Major Contractors Association has called on the Federal Government to ensure that Queenslanders and the state’s contractors are not short-changed as the Government seeks to balance its books.

“We understand the need for fiscal and budgetary responsibility,” said QMCA CEO Andrew Chapman. “However, Queensland and particularly the state’s south-east are growing rapidly supported by a pipeline of works vital to Queensland’s ongoing prosperity. As such, we would ask that the Federal Government ensures that any cuts to infrastructure funding do not jeopardise the projects required to support the movement of people and services as well as liveability across the state.”

With a number of projects rumoured to be at risk of changes in Federal funding, Mr Chapman encouraged the Government to ensure the industry can have certainty and the population confidence that projects they have been promised will be delivered.

“We understand the need to review project investment, it is good practice to do so, particularly in times of challenging costs pressures. However, thought must be given to the economic benefits of any project in addition to a cost number in isolation.”

“As an industry, we would strongly encourage against changes to funding for projects that are currently in development, procurement or are about to enter procurement stages. With work underway and upfront investment made by Queensland Government, Local Governments and the industry, such projects should be exempt from any budget cuts or deferments.”

“Contractors, designers, and the entire supply chain invest a significant amount of time, energy and expense preparing to deliver a major project and have incurred significant costs winning, planning and commencing behind-the-scenes work to meet the laborious and costly procurement processes that are imposed on the industry.”

“If projects are cancelled at this late stage, the impact is significant not just for the industry but for employment, economic growth and manufacturers and suppliers who will support the works. Cancelling a project at such a late stage in the process causes significant losses for those involved, and with infrastructure investment returning 3 times its sum in economic output, it will arguably harm the wider economy at a time when we cannot afford to do so.”

The Commonwealth Government must also resist the temptation to view the Olympic funding requirements as being in the distant future.

“Although the Olympics and Paralympics are scheduled for 2032, there will be a temptation to remove funding from this budget cycle and to push it out a couple of years. The reality is the games are only 3366 days away, and in infrastructure planning, procurement and delivery, that is not a long time.”

“It is vitally important investment for the Games in Queensland increases and is available to the State Government and Local Councils to deliver the projects we need for it to be a success. It is also important to remember that such investment is not just in stadiums and facilities; it is in vital public transport, road, rail, water and energy projects that will support our expected population growth and strong economic future.”

“Therefore, ahead of the budget, we need to ensure that any changes to funding do not leave Queenslanders short-changed by short-term measures to balance the nation’s budget”, said Mr Chapman.

Our members.

Acciona Infrastructure Australia
Bielby Holdings
BMD Constructions
Civil Mining and Construction Pty Ltd
CPB Contractors
Decmil Group Limited
Fulton Hogan
Georgiou Group
John Holland
Martinus Rail Pty Ltd
McConnell Dowell
Seymour Whyte Constructions