Mon 16 Dec 2019

Civil Contractors Federation National policy platform

By CCF National Chief Executive Officer, Chris Melham

Chris Melham, CCF National CEO

Over recent months I travelled to several CCF functions at State and Territory level to provide a keynote address to members about the advocacy program of the CCF National Office which is based in Canberra. CCF members have shown a strong appetite for knowing what issues the National office is addressing and it therefore gives me great pleasure to provide the following update on the activities of the National Office.

The overriding mandate of the National Office is to advocate on National issues of significance to the civil construction industry. Prior to the 2019 Federal Government Election, the CCF National Board and State/Territory based CCF CEO’s gathered in Canberra to workshop and define the CCF Federal Election Policy Platform. This exercise not only resulted in the development of the election platform, but also a clear and concise 5 point ‘CCF Infrastructure Policy Plan’ that would serve as our policy mandate post federal election.

The Federal Election was held on 18th May 2019 and the Civil Contractors Federation continues to advocate on behalf of CCF Members and the broader civil construction industry in pushing for the adoption of our 5-point infrastructure policy plan which can be summarised as follows:

  1. Infrastructure Investment and Funding
  2. Efficient, Equitable & Competitive Procurement
  3. Skill Development and Training
  4. Industrial Relations
  5. Protecting & Enhancing the Viability of Civil Industry Businesses

A full copy of the CCF Infrastructure plan can be downloaded from the CCF National website at: https://www.civilcontractors.com/2019-federal-election/

The CCF National Secretariat in Canberra led by myself is actively engaging with Federal Government Departments and MP’s to represent your interests and position CCF as a credible voice in the infrastructure agenda.

CCF National now occupies a number of vital positions on various Federal Government Advisory Committees that assist our efforts to influence the policy agenda. These include:

  • Industrial representation through our ongoing registration as an industrial organisation with the Fair Work Commission;
  • the Australian Government Security of Payments Working Group;
  • the Australian Taxation Office Fuel Schemes Stakeholder Group;
  • the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator Industry Reference Forum;
  • the Australian Construction Industry Redundancy Trust Board;
  • the Standards Australia Council;
  • the Office of Federal Safety Commissioner WH& S Accreditation Scheme; and
  • the Civil Infrastructure Industry Reference Committee.

 CCF is currently promoting the need to increase the level of infrastructure spend and to ensure a fair distribution of project allocation across all jurisdictions – particularly through rural, regional and remote Australia. Of equal importance is the need to procure the services of contractors that can deliver this infrastructure in a balanced way that provides reasonable access to small and medium sized businesses. This CCF position has been elevated to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Hon Michael McCormack MP.

A concerted effort is also being mounted on the training and education front to have many civil occupations formally recognised as trades. A comprehensive submission was forwarded to the Federal Government calling on a major overhaul of the ‘National Skills Needs List’. The Government has committed to supporting up to 80,000 new apprentices over the next five years and the CCF is lobbying to ensure that the civil construction sector is a major beneficiary of the new incentives program for employers of apprentices and trainees. The program, called the Incentives for Australian Apprenticeships Program will into effect come 1 July 2020.

In addition to the advocacy agenda, your CCF National Board continues to support the retention and delivery of key business services not only to CCF members but the broader civil construction industry. These include:

  • CivilTrain – a Registered Training Organisation owned by CCF National that provides a variety of training solutions to CCF members and civil contractors nationally; and
  • System Certified Contractor – A Contractor Management System (CMS) that is a one-stop-shop where all company policies and procedures in regard to Quality, Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Management are stored and kept.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable festive season and look forward to keeping you informed of our progress throughout 2020.

Merry Christmas

Chris Melham
Chief Executive Officer
Civil Contactors Federation National