Mon 28 Oct 2019

State of the State Report shows infrastructure investment vital to growing our economy

The Master Builders Association and the Civil Contractors Federation have welcomed the State of the State Report released by CommSec today.

The Report ranks Tasmania 2nd out of all the states and territories, behind only Victoria.  Tasmania ranks first on three of eight criteria used by CommSec to develop the Report.

Civil Contractors Federation CEO, Rachael Matheson, said that population growth was driving Tasmania’s strong performance.

“While it’s fantastic that Tasmania’s population is growing at the fastest rate in 27 years, that means that infrastructure like roads, bridges and water and sewerage assets will be under increasing strain,” Ms Matheson said.

“Strategies like the 10 and 30 year plans released by Government will help to ensure we are planning for future infrastructure needs.

“We need to ensure we’re investing in a skilled workforce to do the work as well.

“It’s important we leverage infrastructure investment to ensure there is a consistent pipeline of work that will keep stimulating the economy and supporting jobs growth.”

Master Builders Executive Director, Matthew Pollock said that it is great to see Tassie around the top of the state growth ladder.  But this comes with challenges for the construction industry.

“There are emerging capacity constraints in the economy, particularly in access to skilled workers,” he said.

“While the Tasmanian economy is the second fastest growing in the country, the construction sector is the fastest growing in the country and has been for some time.

“Over the next four years the economy is expected to grow by a little over 10 per cent. But the construction industry is expected to expand by more than 30 per cent. To deliver this pipeline of work we are going to need to attract more than our fair share of skilled workers into the construction industry.

“In the medium to long term supply shortages in the labour market may make the delivery of construction projects more expensive.

“These 10 and 30 year infrastructure plans are welcomed by industry and gives confidence to businesses to plan and invest in new capacity.

“But our analysis shows that the immediate challenge for businesses in the engineering construction sector is how to keep capacity in the short term. The long run pipeline is very positive but there is a gap emerging over the next 12 months which may challenge businesses to maintain their workforces.

“Now is the time to bring forward projects that can be approved quickly to fill this short-term gap.

“Ultimately as an industry we want to see these investments into large infrastructure project provide sustainable job opportunities for Tasmanian businesses and workers.”

Click here for a copy of the report.