Industry super owned IFM Investors has today proposed a new way of financing infrastructure construction that would help kick-start the economy, create jobs, and better meet the needs of governments, regulators and the community, while driving investment and returns for millions of workers. IFM Investors is ready to unlock billions of dollars for Australian infrastructure projects to support the post-Covid-19 economic recovery. With industry super capital already set to contribute $19.5 billion over the next three years and create 200,000 jobs, the additional billions would “supercharge” the existing stimulus pipeline already committed by industry super.
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
The Hon. Michael Sukkar MP
Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Housing
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
The Morrison Government is supporting jobs in the residential construction sector with the introduction of the new HomeBuilder program.
From today until 31 December 2020, HomeBuilder will provide all eligible owner-occupiers (not just first home buyers) with a grant of $25,000 to build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home. Construction must be contracted to commence within three months of the contract date.
HomeBuilder applicants will be subject to eligibility criteria, including income caps of $125,000 for singles and $200,000 for couples based on their latest assessable income. A national dwelling price cap of $750,000 will apply for new home builds, and a renovation price range of $150,000 up to $750,000 will apply to renovating an existing home with a current value of no more than $1.5 million.
The program is expected to provide around 27,000 grants at a total cost of around $680 million.
This increase in residential construction will help to fill the gap in construction activity expected in the second half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In doing so, HomeBuilder will help to support the 140,000 direct jobs and another 1,000,000 related jobs in the residential construction sector including businesses and sole-trader builders, contractors, property developers, construction materials manufacturers, engineers, designers and architects.
HomeBuilder complements existing state and territory First Home Owner Grant programs, stamp duty concessions and other grant schemes, as well as the Commonwealth’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme and First Home Super Saver Scheme.
This year, the Government delivered the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme to help eligible first home buyers to purchase their first home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent, allowing them to get into the market sooner. HomeBuilder will create even more opportunities for first home buyers to enter the property market, as well as support other eligible Australians to build a new home or renovate an existing home.
The HomeBuilder program will be implemented via a National Partnership Agreement, signed by the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.
More information on HomeBuilder, including eligibility, can be found on the Treasury Coronavirus Economic Response website.
Prime Minister’s office: Press Office, (02) 677 7744
Treasurer’s office: Leanne Jones, 0401 006 866
Minister Sukkar’s office: Andrew Hudgson, 0428 697 041
The NSW Government has announced a new $3 billion acceleration fund to go towards job-creating projects, increasing the Government’s infrastructure pipeline to a guaranteed $100 billion.
The new $3 billion Infrastructure and Job Acceleration Fund will be used for smaller, shovel-ready projects touching every corner of the state, injecting up to an extra 20 thousand jobs back into the NSW workforce.
The Government will no longer proceed with the refurbishment of Stadium Australia, redirecting around $800 million towards the new fund for job-creating infrastructure projects.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said infrastructure would provide a path to employment, and economic recovery, firing up the economy.
“This guaranteed pipeline of $100 billion will be our best chance supporting the hundreds of thousands of people who have already lost their jobs in NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We are now not only guaranteeing our infrastructure pipeline, we will be looking for opportunities to fast-track projects to provide jobs as early as we can.
The Government said the Stadium Australia rebuild was a sensible project backed by the people of NSW at last year’s election, but in the current health and economic climate it no longer makes sense.
The promised Parramatta Powerhouse museum will still be delivered through the infrastructure pipeline.
This project alone will create more than 1,100 construction jobs in Western Sydney, 2,400 indirect jobs, and keep hundreds employed once it opens. The Government is also looking at options to support the Arts community at Ultimo.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the fast-tracking of projects would support jobs across the entire State and the Government was in the process of identifying them.
“The communities of NSW have been through an incredibly tough period with continued drought, horrific bushfires and now COVID-19 and the best path to recovery is creating jobs,” Mr Barilaro said.
“An unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented recovery and redirecting funding from Stadium Australia to job-creating infrastructure builds is the right thing to do for the people of NSW.”
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the clear advice from the Reserve Bank of Australia was that governments should do everything they can to create jobs and stimulate the economy as we emerge from the shadow of COVID-19.
“With around 500,000 people out of work in NSW we are focused on creating as many jobs as possible to shorten the lines outside of Centrelink,” Mr Perrottet said.
“NSW was an infrastructure led economy heading in to the pandemic, and now we will help drive the State forward by creating more jobs for the people who have been hit hardest with an infrastructure led recovery coming out.”
MEDIA: Kari Keenan | Premier | 0448 865 311
Georgina Kentwell | Deputy Premier ǀ 0427 206 308
Ian Paterson | Treasurer | 0438 748 501
BUILDING MINISTERS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE – 23 APRIL 2020
The Building Ministers’ Forum (BMF) met in late April to discuss the impacts of the current
COVID-19 crisis on the building and construction industry, and agree the way forward for
the design, construction and certification of complex buildings. The Australian Building
Codes Board (ABCB) updated Ministers on the key achievements with implementing the
recommendations in the Building Confidence Report.
You can find all the communiques (2014 – 2020) here.
As we push through with the imposed, ongoing COVID -19 restrictions and generally living what resembles little of what was some four or five months ago, I think we must continually put things into perspective and consider ourselves ‘lucky and fortunate’ in so many respects.
While many of us are feeling the effects of reduced or even a loss of jobs in some instances, nothing compares to the utter devastation and importantly, significant loss of life that others in various parts of the globe have endured with the pandemic. I know I speak on behalf of the National President in expressing our positive thoughts with regard to the way that the building and construction industry continues to keep moving forward.
With some sites now working over more days of the week to minimise interaction as well as the practising of safe distancing, we sense that the industry will pull through this. I can say that the Institute in concert with the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) has attended numerous Industry Roundtable meetings with relevant government and Federal Government Ministerial staff. The purpose of the meetings is to discuss any new sector specific supply chain issues that may have arisen.
Government staff are also keen to gain a sense of when particular industries might expect to encounter significant difficulties, if they haven’t already, and the nature of these issues. The meetings also discuss numbers of COVID-19 cases in the construction industry, and what practical social distancing and other COVID-19 health measures are being undertaken. In the meantime if you have any feedback in this area, please be sure to let me know at email@example.com and I will pass this on and through the meetings.
Finally in the same vein this week, ACIF has released its ‘Update Report’ for April 2020. The document contains thoughts and perspectives from key industry stakeholders on the uncertain situation with regard to COVID -19. It provides information about what has been happening in different sectors of the construction industry over the past few weeks, and what may be expected over the next few weeks as Australia and the world deal with the pandemic
There is expert comment across the informative document including input from AIB National President, David Burnell.
As a member of ACIF, this is free to all AIB members and I encourage you all to read this. Click here to download.
Have a great weekend ahead everyone.
NSW Government Media Release
Slashed Licence Fees A Big Win For Businesses – Click here to download and read.
The New South Wales Government Gazette is the permanent public record of official NSW Government notices.
9 April 2020
This last period has seen our AIB world transformed by circumstances that we could not have imagined as we spent much of the summer months coping with the combination of fire, floods and dust that impacted communities around Australia.
We are in unprecedented times with a range of restrictions affecting the community as we adapt to the new norm of ‘social distancing.’ While the circumstances for some is an enforced 14-day isolation if we are at risk of having been exposed on some form of travel and just returned, we need to remain separate to protect others in our families and the community.
Less than a month ago your National Council met to plan the program of Institute activities for the next 12 months that was structured for:
- National and Chapter events;
- ongoing Course Accreditation work with our Tertiary Education providers;
- CPD presentations, Site Visits and local training information;
- our mentoring program extended across all Chapters; and
- the commencement of our subscription year.
With this, all to be achieved within our annual budget however, the AIB has like nearly all construction and consulting businesses which contain the majority of our working members (the industry professionals we represent) has had to quickly adapt our operations.
As I reflect on the last three weeks the construction industry has made a significant pivot from ‘business as usual,’ and we have all been learning to adapt to a completely different set of norms to continue our work. Thankfully the Government has prioritised that construction should continue as an essential service while implementing the COVID-19 guidelines or express obligations like Stage 3 restrictions. As one of the sectors of the community that is not subject to automatic isolation, we owe a duty of care to both our workers and staff who are willing and able to work. Equally the industries and sectors that were promptly closed at the commencement of Stage 1 & 2 responses are a tragic reminder that providing for a family is a precious responsibility.
I am encouraged by the stories of members within this environment providing leadership and showing radical business change almost immediately in their responses to keep the economy moving. The reality is the public need construction to continue as it employs over 10% of Australia’s workforce. Observers outside any commercial construction site don’t see or understand that these work places are already highly regulated and well managed. Construction businesses understand a duty of care in the workplace and have developed a full suite of procedures used daily as part of any construction business. Construction workers have regular training and already use site inductions, toolbox meetings and SWMS’s as part of every working day, so adding:
- a new procedure at the start of the day to check if individual workers are healthy before entry;
- planning work to be spread over larger areas to maintain social distancing;
- splitting shifts or staggered start times allowing lunchrooms to have 3, 4 or 5 rotations of use, with cleaning and disinfecting between each use;
- having work plans that record which teams, are in which zones, to track the immediate contact risks if someone does develop symptoms, so vital information of possible exposure can be shared with the work group quickly;
- a new procedure at the end of the day to check if individual workers are still healthy before exiting;
- this extra level of management and monitoring is possible, and the Government understands it can be implemented quickly because it is so similar to what we must already manage as Building Professionals.
So, the Construction Industry remaining at work is not ‘a fluke’ or ‘picking favourites’ to retain jobs, but it is just one example of a well-managed workplace that can control all industry trained specialists because it has systems already. As a comparison, public entertainment venues while having well trained staff, could not manage large volumes of people who just arrive without notice. These businesses could not quickly establish controls and identification procedures and therefore present an immediate risk of infection spread that could not be monitored.
We have also adopted control measures to help our AIB staff stay safe. We moved to ‘working from home’ to avoid the potential risks for staff even though we had space for staff to be socially distanced. We have all AIB operations continuing, and staff can respond to any questions by email, the office phone is also diverted and Greg can respond to any phone enquiries in the first instance.
Our Professional Excellence Award program is still open, and our venue bookings for presentation events which were scheduled between May and July have been either cancelled or transferred to a later date in 2020 where we can’t recover venue deposits. The program will still commence judging within the next week, and this is still a great way for companies and individuals to have their 2019 projects judged and awarded so businesses will have promotional / marketing opportunities as we exit COVID-19 and return to full work mode. As the Government amends any requirements around gathering in groups, we will confirm how the presentation phase of the 2020 Awards will be offered in the future.
Membership subscriptions have now been out for a few weeks and I would encourage members to contact the National Office at firstname.lastname@example.org next week if you have not yet seen an email from us with your invoice attached. In an effort to responsibly manage the Institutes’ resources our first round of invoicing has been intentionally delivered electronically. If you have recently moved address or changed your contact details, we would also ask that you update these by logging on using the website to check your current record or email Kerry at membership with your new details.
You can also pay directly by using the Pay Membership Fee link while you are logged in.
We also have a payment plan offer to help members at this time with a four payment option to spread the fee over April / May / June / July so again contact Kerry at email@example.com to get the form and stagger the payments. This time has also seen some large disruption with some business announcing or commencing staff reductions so I would encourage members to also contact our office if this has affected you and you want to stay connected with the AIB but have concerns about any recent employment change.
Our Mentoring program is still seeking registrations for mentors and with some construction hibernation likely there may be time for you to volunteer to help a student or recent graduate map a pathway and start to understand what a career in building offers. You can download the mentor nomination form here and return the form to firstname.lastname@example.org
While COVID-19 restricts gathering in person, I would encourage all AIB members to look after their own mental health by staying connected with either work colleagues or other AIB members on social platforms or scheduling group catch-ups using Zoom or Microsoft teams. As we are largely in a “working from home” environment unless you are based directly on a construction site at some point, it is still important to have the coffee chat or lunchtime quiz as part of your working day. We may still be working this way for a few months, so get into a good routine to ensure you last the distance.
Well Easter is now upon us, and with restricted travel, social distancing and some products still in short supply; I hope all members do still get time with either young family at home or older family using ‘virtual technology’ so that you can celebrate a little bit over this long weekend.
So, I look forward to seeing you Zoom at an AIB event soon.
David Burnell FAIB
Australian Institute of Building