Mon 09 Nov 2020

Civil sector calls for projects to be fast-tracked

Media release
Saturday, 7 November

In the lead up to the State Budget on Thursday, new survey results show a shortage of contracts is holding Tasmania’s civil contractors back, despite the sector being earmarked to help rebuild the state and national economies following COVID-19.

55 per cent of respondents in Civil Contractors Federation Tasmania’s (CCF) latest quarterly member survey identified a lack of available contracts as a major constraint to business growth, while 36 per cent cited government delay and red tape as limiting factors.

Nearly two thirds of respondents thought the infrastructure package announced in the recent Federal Budget would have a positive impact on their business.

CCF Tasmania CEO Rachael Matheson said it was vital contracts were fast-tracked to maintain momentum in the sector and assist Tasmania’s economic recovery efforts.

“Both State and Federal Governments’ commitment to stimulating the economy with infrastructure projects has been welcomed by Tasmania’s civil sector, however it’s vital the work starts now when the state needs it most,” Ms Matheson said.

“The pandemic has halted many major projects, with over 80 per cent of survey respondents experiencing unchanged or weakened business performance in July, August and September compared to the three months prior.

“Concerningly, over half of Tasmania’s civil contractors expect turnover to decrease for the 2020-21 financial year, with less than a third expecting a turnover increase.

“The Tasmanian civil construction sector is ready to jump into action, with more than half of businesses indicating they are gearing up to employ more workers over the next three months.

“What’s needed now is a consistent and uninterrupted pipeline of contracts which gives contractors the confidence to employ as many people as possible and deliver the greatest benefit to Tasmania over the long economic recovery road ahead.”