Encouraging a competitive infrastructure construction market

Examining how procurement policy and practices can deliver better value for taxpayers and foster the development of expertise and experience in the construction sector will be the focus of a report commissioned by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

Speaking at a summit of infrastructure leaders in Melbourne, Mr McCormack said it is important taxpayers get maximum bang for thier buck under the Government’s $75 billion decade long infrastructure pipeline.

“As an informed investor, the Australian Government is committed to ensuring we deliver value for money for the Australian taxpayer,” Mr McCormack said.

“Around the country our investment is focused on improving safety and driving economic growth, creating around 50,000 additional direct and indirect jobs, and we want to maximise that benefit. As our infrastructure program grows, it becomes even more imperative to ensure there is nothing in the current Commonwealth and state payment arrangements hampering a competitive market.

“The community should have confidence the size of the Government’s infrastructure investment provides opportunities across the construction supply chain. We know the benefits that can come from fair and reasonable opportunity for Australian businesses to compete for work.”

Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population Alan Tudge said the increasing scale and complexity of urban infrastructure projects makes it even more important to get procurement and tendering right.

“As part of the Government’s $5.3 billion commitment to build Western Sydney Airport, WSA Co has embarked on a competitive, value-for-money procurement strategy to secure a range of companies to provide design, technical, project management and construction services,” Mr Tudge said.

“The tendering for the first stage of the Western Sydney Airport has been broken down into smaller parts to help encourage more potential bidders to put their names forward to complete the early earth works, including second and third tier providers.”

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Andrew Broad said discussions with industry will help understand experiences in major procurements and identify the best ways to support local construction contractors to engage on infrastructure projects being funded by the Commonwealth.

“It is important that we show the leadership and work with state and territory governments to refine the settings for major infrastructure projects to support local content and grow the experience and capability of the Australian construction industry,” Mr Broad said.

The Australian Government will work with industry to develop a report to take to the COAG Transport and Infrastructure Council later in 2018. A series of workshops with industry will be held.

Source: Australian Government