One of South Australia’s most influential industry lobby groups has called for greater transparency and collaboration between industry, government and the peak infrastructure agency to ensure the State maximises future opportunities to have major construction projects listed for priority funding in State and Federal Budgets.
The appeal was made today by the Civil Contractors Federation (SA) and followed the release this morning by the Federal Infrastructure Australia (IA) group, of its latest priority list of projects and initiatives around the country recommended for future Budget funding considerations.
Federation Chief Executive, Ms Rebecca Pickering, said the CCF (SA) welcomed the recognition by Infrastructure Australia in its 2021 list of the largest number of new proposals for South Australia in the list’s five-year history.
The CCF (SA) made a direct submission to Infrastructure Australia and says it is p0leased a number of projects nominated by it have now been included in the latest Priority List.
“In parallel with that, however, the CCF (SA) is a strong advocate for transparent future collaboration with industry, State Government and the independent advisory body, Infrastructure SA, to ensure new South Australian infrastructure projects are continually identified, submitted and shared with every South Australian,” Ms Pickering said.
“This will reverse the trend of recent years where SA projects received insufficient attention by IA.
“In order for today’s six identified SA initiatives to be transformative for South Australia, government agencies must engage with industry immediately to plan the delivery of these projects and those already listed as part of the record $16.8 billion committed in principle by government to SA’s future infrastructure needs.
“Today’s announcement of State Government $100m in road upgrades to commence immediately, including sections of the Horrocks, Riddoch, Eyre and Augusta Highways, is positive.
“However, a reliable and steady project release to market is critical during these unparalleled times. SA’s civil industry is mobilising to support current and future needs of our great state and it needs reliable projects to be released to maintain momentum and support growth.”
Ms Pickering said it was pleasing that SA’s road maintenance backlog (estimated to be worth at least $700m+) has now been recognised as an IA High Priority Initiative.
“The Federation has been advocating for this for several years and future Budget allocations could see a large improvement in SA’s road safety, while creating jobs in our State and building our local economy,” Ms Pickering said.
“Earthmovers, road constructors, pipelayers, road maintenance, traffic control, mobile plant operators and other civil business are digging deep for South Australia to deliver these projects, and the industry’s uptake of new Civil Apprenticeships is evidence of this.
“We celebrate today’s good news but promises need to translate into tangible, well planned projects. The CCF (SA) is committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure new projects and opportunities are continually presented to funding bodies.”