MBA Calls for Long Term Infrastructure Plan to Support Canberra's Growth

Posted 2 November 2018

MBA Calls for Long Term Infrastructure Plan to Support Canberra's Growth

Master Builders ACT has called on the ACT Government to develop a 30 year infrastructure plan to support Canberra's rapid growth.

Responding to the ACT Government's call for input to the 2019-20 ACT Budget, the MBA has highlighted five priorities for action:

  • Development of a 30 year infrastructure plan,
  • New land release to increase the supply of housing, including mixed and medium density housing,
  • A freeze on new taxes, fees and charges while small business adjusts to the Territory's long term taxation reforms,
  • Sustainable funding for not-for-profit VET training providers to boost the number of skilled tradespeople, and
  • Increase resourcing in the areas of building quality, WorkSafe ACT and development assessment.

Master Builders ACT CEO, Michael Hopkins, said "With Canberra's population growing at above-average levels, we have seen Government struggling to plan, design and deliver infrastructure to keep up with new growth."

Mr Hopkins said, "Designing, procuring and delivering major infrastructure within an annual budget cycle is near impossible."

"It is time Canberra had a 30 year infrastructure plan, developed together with the ACT Planning Strategy and Territory Plan, which provides clear guidance to the community and industry about the direction of new growth and the infrastructure required to support this development", he said.

Mr Hopkins said, "Long term infrastructure planning will allow local contractors to prepare for major projects by developing capacity within their businesses, training staff, and even forming joint ventures with other local contractors to deliver major projects."

"With the infrastructure market across the East Coast of Australia currently running hot, we are in a 'supplier's market', meaning the ACT Government will have to compete harder to be a client of choice", he said.

Mr Hopkins said, "Without a clear and long term plan illustrating upcoming infrastructure opportunities contractors will lose interest in working for the ACT Government, ultimately driving up the cost of infrastructure."

"When you add the additional costs, and additional rights given to Unions by the Secure Local Jobs Code and amendments to Work, Health and Safety Laws, we are calling on the ACT Government to think long-term about how infrastructure will be procured and delivered to support the Government's growth agenda", said Mr Hopkins.

Mr Hopkins said, "The MBA is also calling on the ACT budget to provide funding to implement building quality reforms, to increase resources in WorkSafe ACT, and to fund additional development assessment staff to keep up with the growing number and complexity of development applications."

Click here to view the MBA ACT's submission.

For further information please contact Master Builders ACT:

Michael Hopkins, CEO, 0418 984 594

Karen Freer, Marketing Manager, 0437 955 923

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