Tue 15 Dec 2015

CCF National response to MYEFO – Mid-Year outlook confirms need to get on with infrastructure to support the new economy

The national peak body representing the civil construction industry has seized on today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook to urge the Commonwealth and State and Territory governments to get on with the business of infrastructure development to support the new economy.

National chief executive officer of the Civil Contractors Federation, John Miller said it was absolutely the right time to expedite infrastructure projects that will hasten the transitioning economy and contribute to employment growth and a much stronger economic outlook.

“It’s clear that Treasurer, Scott Morrison and Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann are anxious to attach themselves to the new economy as the country’s revenue reliance moves away from our mining sector and into other areas of the economy,” said Mr Miller.

“The joint-statement released by the Treasurer and Finance minister noted the Turnbull government’s ‘national plan for growth and jobs that is backing Australians by opening up trade, boosting innovation, building infrastructure…’ which is a positive set of words that civil construction industry is looking to participate in.

“What we have heard a lot of over many years is that we don’t have the level of infrastructure in this country to fully support our aspirations to be domestically and internationally ready to trade efficiently and effectively.

“The deficiency in infrastructure assets was identified by former Treasury secretary, Dr Ken Henry, during an interview last year when he noted ‘There is enormous potential in the Asian century and we simply don’t have the infrastructure assets, the infrastructure services, to ensure that in the commercial space – but also the social space – we make the most of those connections.’

“It could be argued that we are now in a perfect position to apply resources to the infrastructure needs of the country where we have a lot of capability and expertise moving out of the mining sector as well as borrowing costs for governments at all-time lows.

“That there are many businesses in the civil construction industry with a current capacity to deliver on our infrastructure needs should give both the Treasurer and the Finance ministers greater impetus to look urgently at fast-tracking projects and incentivising the states and territories to get on with the job of growing the economy,” concluded Mr Miller.