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Queensland Major Contractors Association has welcomed Federal Labor’s budget reply and commends Mr Shorten for a number of positive initiatives, but counsels against adding further red tape and regulation to one of the nation’s most bureaucracy bound sectors.

As an association, QMCA and our members will be pleased to see a commitment of funds to upgrade the final section of the Gateway Motorway and remove congestion once and for all rather than just moving the problem further along the road.

We also welcome the fact that funding for projects such as this will be committed in the first Labor budget rather than in the forward estimates as is the case with many of the LNP commitments.

The announcement that Labor will seek to make bipartisan appointments to the Board of Infrastructure Australia will help to take the politics out of infrastructure and provide a long-term infrastructure strategy, rather than endless election cycle porkbarelling.

QMCA CEO, Jon Davies, welcomed the positive measures “The budget reply from Labor provides funding for major projects in a very timely fashion. In addition, we are encouraged to see a desire to remove party politics from infrastructure and for Infrastructure Australia, supported by State based ‘I’ bodies such as Building Queensland, to be allowed to get on with the job of reviewing, analysing and prioritising the infrastructure that the nation needs.”

However, QMCA has cautioned against adding more red tape to an already overburdened industry sector and would encourage Federal Labor to have an open, honest and meaningful discussion with industry, not merely with the union movement.

“We are less enthusiastic about Labor’s proposed ‘Tradie Pay Guarantee’ that will mandate the use of Project Bank Accounts and Cascading Statutory Trusts on large Commonwealth Projects to deal with the issue of Phoenixing.”

“As we have said before, phoenixing is not an issue on large projects due to the significant barriers of entry into this market. A contractor cannot just fold one day and start bidding for multi-million-dollar commonwealth projects the next. The proposals will therefore add additional cost and administration for no additional benefit whatsoever. These measures would be better targeted at other sectors of industry such as smaller commercial and residential developments.”

“We are also concerned that Labor’s plan to crack down on ‘sham contracting’ could impact on legitimate labour hire operations that are vital to provide an industry subject to boom / bust cycles with the flexibility it needs to remain sustainable. Labor must have a dialogue with industry regarding such policies as there can be far reaching unintended consequences for the sector’s supply chain.”

With both sides of politics having committed funding for the Gateway Motorway Upgrade, QMCA calls on the State Government to expedite the development of the project, safe in the knowledge that funding is available regardless of who wins an upcoming Federal Election.

“The fact that both parties have now committed funds to Upgrading the Gateway Motorway, a project that is not even on the drawing board, supports QMCA’s call for the State Government to do more to develop shovel ready projects.”

“Given that funds are now available, we call on the State Government to work with industry to expedite this much needed project by adopting an integrated project delivery (IPD) procurement model for its delivery. As well as expediting this upgrade, IPD has the potential to delivery increased value for the Government and taxpayers by promoting increased industry collaboration at all stages in the project.” said Mr Davies.

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