AIB’S SUBMISSION RELATING TO THE ‘INQUIRY INTO PROCUREMENT PRACTICES FOR GOVERNMENT-FUNDED INFRASTRUCTURE’

AIB has submitted a response to the ‘Inquiry into Procurement Practices for Government-Funded Infrastructure’ – House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.

As the arbiters of knowledge and learning, AIB’s submission underpins the support we provide to members and the broader construction industry. Importantly AIB has provided much needed input and explained the ways in which the procurement practices of government can provide a better deal for commercial builders, contractors and suppliers tendering for and winning projects.

We will keep you posted of progress over coming weeks. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any queries.

Geoff Dart
Executive Director
0427 306 557

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

I trust this message find you well. News of our 70th Anniversary celebrations and plans will follow in subsequent messages.

Overview:
It was pleasing to see the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reporting that seasonally adjusted estimates for total Construction work rose 2.4% in the March Quarter to almost $52 billion.
Building work completed rose by 2.5% to just over $30 billion with Engineering work also completed, rising 2.2% to almost $22 billion.

Whilst the signs are promising, report back from AIB’s wide supplier network, reveal shortages and delays in freight for certain products and materials.  As well as delaying completions, for commercial and residential builds, this is overlaid with price increases of between 6% to 13% now being applied and passed on to builders and tradespeople.

Professional Excellence in Building Awards:
Please find below the schedule of Events for the upcoming PEA’s and if not already done so, please head to our Awards Website to get your tickets.  They are sure to be fantastic events.

State Date Venue
Queensland 18 June Pullman Hotel, Corner Ann and Roma Streets, Brisbane City QLD 4000
South Australia & Northern Territory 2 July National Wine Centre, Corner of Hackney Road & Botanic Street, Adelaide SA 5000
Victoria & Tasmania 16 July RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
New South Wales 30 July Strangers’ Room, NSW Parliament, 6 Macquarie Street Sydney, 2000
Australian Capital Territory 12 August Ainslie Football Club, 52 Wakefield Avenue, Ainslie ACT 2602
Western Australia 14 August The Westin, 480 Hay Street, Perth WA 600
National 11 September The Melbourne Town Hall, Swanston Street Melbourne, 3000

Summary:

In recognition of AIB’s preeminent position, through our members and influence in the building and construction industry, we are pleased to announce three new Corporate Partners; Fairview, UVEX and Legrand. These leading suppliers join ASSA ABLOY, Milwaukee, DesignBUILD, Bunnings, Kaboodle, Lahey Constructions and Solid Support/Powerproject as AIB Corporate Partners.

Please keep an eye out for these suppliers and introduce yourselves at your Chapter’s CPD Events over the coming year. I’ve been attending some of the sessions and encourage you all to take part and I’m sure there is much to learn of the exciting developments these companies have in store.

Take care,

Geoff Dart
Executive Director

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

I trust this message finds you well.

The Professional Excellence In Building Awards:
We are very pleased with the number and high quality of entries into the 2021 PEA’s and a fantastic effort given the slow down in building completions due to COVID 19.

Importantly, we are going live in all regions with the National Awards to be held in Melbourne in September. A full schedule of the events and details for each Chapter will be sent to you over the coming two weeks and please mark them in your diaries.  If you are planning to travel interstate during this time, please check out the dates for those events. Your respective Chapters have organized some wonderful and engaging events.

Strategic planning:
Over the coming twelve months, commencing with the Awards, you are likely to notice gradual and strategic changes to the way in which we build the image of the AIB and its preeminent position in the building and construction industry.  Importantly, AIB’s role in and contribution to, the social and economic recovery of Australia over the coming decade.

The positioning of the AIB is based on following core elements and the unique qualities that our organization, through its valued members, brings to the industry.

Vision:
The Australian Institute of Building is progressive, inclusive and recognised throughout the building and construction industry as the arbiter of knowledge and learning.

Differentiation:
What sets the AIB apart from all other Australian industry bodies is encapsulated by the following statement.

The Australian Institute of Building is the only industry body whose core members, building professionals, have the qualifications and experience to construct a building.

We are proudly celebrating our 70th Anniversary this year and building upon the trust, heritage and meaning of the Australian Institute of Building to so many areas of learning, knowledge and the practice of building excellence.
Some housekeeping.  A reminder for some, that membership fees were due by 31 March and please contact Kerry Matthew with any queries or myself on 0427 306 557.

Thanking you for your support.

Kind Regards,
Geoff Dart

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The AIB, on behalf of members, past and present, council, staff, and colleagues, is extending our deepest condolences to Her Majesty and her family on the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

This brought great sadness to the National Council, staff, and all members of the Australian Institute of Building.

The Institute was granted Royal Charter in 1969 and Prince Philip will be remembered fondly as its first Honorary Fellow and a much loved, passionate supporter of the Australian Institute of Building.

As we reflect on a lifetime of service, devotion, and commitment, may he rest in peace.

Yours sincerely,

Geoff Dart
Executive Director

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

The 2021 AIB Professional Excellence Awards are opening next week.

I am pleased to advise that our Professional Excellence Awards are opening next week with the release of the 2021 Entry Handbook with some exciting new categories. Please keep out an eye out on our Awards Website for more information.

After a difficult year, we are seeing some cautious optimism in the industry as pipelines slowly open-up around Australia. We are certainly looking forward to a record number of entries and some spectacular events this year where we acknowledge the best of the best. All the details of how to enter will be in the Handbook and at that time, on our Awards website.

We have pleasure in congratulating a Fellow of the AIB who was recently honoured in the Australia Day Honours list. Dr Ronald Webber (Ron) was recognized for his significant contribution to building and construction by being awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
Ron is one of those rare people in the industry who has been able to successfully combine hands on building expertise and experience with academia at the highest levels.

About Ron Webber

Dr. Ronald J. Webber AM FAIB has been involved in the construction industry as a professional for some 40 years. Ron has undergraduate qualifications in Building, Building Surveying, Building Design, and Education. Additionally, he has postgraduate qualifications in Business Administration and Project Management and his doctorate thesis related to Microeconomic Reforms into the building regulative system.

Dr. Webber is a fellow and previous National Vice President of the Royal Australian Institute of Building, as well as being a fellow of the following institutes:
• Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors
• Chartered Institute of Building
• Australian Institute of Building Surveyors
• Australian Institute of Project Managers
• Royal Society of New South Wales

Throughout Ron’s career, he has participated in a variety of projects within the industry. Ron was employed with the Department of Justice as the Program Manager – Building. As part of the senior management group, he provided advice on all aspects of building-related regulative policy. He worked with various stakeholders to achieve the strategic objectives of the department and for the betterment of consumers and builders.

He has also conducted several research studies with the most notable being the lack of ablution facilities for women in public buildings for the Victoria Depart of Planning as it was then known. This study informed changes to the then BCA. He conducted research for the Queensland government which was instrumental to the introduction of smoke detectors in that State and this accounting for many saved lives through their introduction. Ron’s research tends to focus on outcomes that benefit the community.

Throughout his academic career, he has been employed at major Australian Universities including Western Sydney University, the University of Canberra, and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Dr. Ronald Webber currently holds the position of Associate Professor in Construction Management and Building Surveying at Central Queensland University as well being the Chair of the AIB’s Course Accreditation Committee.

I am indeed looking forward to working with you all once again and wish you and your families all the best for a safe and prosperous 2021. All the best.

Geoff Dart

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Welcome to our last message leading up to, I am sure, a long-awaited Christmas and New Year festivity season with family and friends. COVID-19 has certainly thrown up challenges and tested our mettle and resolve with members and industry responding extremely well. This has enabled the economy to keep ticking over through professionalism, quality of work, on time project completion and dedication.

During these times, we were very pleased to be able to deliver our Professional Excellence in Building Awards across Australia with the National Awards Live-streamed through YouTube on November 20. In case you missed the event, you can still view the Awards presentations via YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWRoLqShOZk

We are now planning the AIB 2021 Awards and will be in touch in the New Year with details of this exciting and much anticipated event.

On behalf of us all at the AIB, I would like to thank you for your support and valuable contribution. Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy, prosperous New Year.

Kind Regards,

Geoff Dart

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Firstly, I would like to thank all members and their companies who entered projects, and their respective project managers, in AIB’s prestigious Professional Excellence in Building Awards.

The entrants were of an exceptionally high standard and testament to the depth of talent within our membership and broader building and construction community.

Amidst the challenges facing our industry, as we gradually move to more stability and emerging pipeline of building and construction projects, we cannot lose sight of the longer-term objectives of social and economic reform. The construction industry employs 1.2 million people, accounts for  9% ($380 billion) of Australia’s GDP and key to the road to recovery and employment growth.

Implicit in this, is leading and embracing sustainability in all aspects from conception, site selection, design, building and eventual occupancy and lifecycle of residential and commercial buildings. In the author’s view, we also need to consider the size and purpose of all buildings considering permanent changes in working, living, and learning patterns because of CV-19.

What will this look like?

Shorter office buildings, regional hubs, larger homes, fewer shops.

As recently reported, Victorian government announced a $797 million energy efficiency affordability package. This sets minimum energy standards with five stars for rental properties and seven stars for new builds and is also significant policy that can advance sustainability in retrofits and transform infrastructure.

This comes as part and parcel of Victorian and NSW Governments’ significant investments in harnessing the power of energy efficiency and social housing to create jobs and drive economic recovery. The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Energy Efficiency Council, Green Building Council Australia, and Property Council of Australia welcomed the multi-billion commitments to a more sustainable future.

Commercial building is no exception and we, as industry leading building professionals, can develop solutions and guide architects as to the ways in which buildings can embrace technology and energy saving solutions for the betterment of occupants and the broader community.

The New Year will  bring new initiatives to our members and high on the agenda is a webinar being planned,  “Global trends in Sustainable Building”.  Enjoy the National Awards and please feel free to reach out at any time.

Cheers,

Geoff Dart
Executive Director
0427 306 557

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

A big thank you to Abbey, our National Awards Coordinator, and the Chapters for their support and effort in bringing the 2020 Awards to fruition. We have all been impacted to varying degrees by COVID-19, with 2020 a year like no other. Amidst this, we have worked hard with members, entrants and sponsors to ensure AIB delivers a memorable event. This has meant the NSW, Victorian and Tasmanian Chapters have gone “Virtual”, a first for all of us, with the National Awards also being steamed live via You Tube 7pm, 20 November.

Our WA, ACT and Queensland Chapters have been able to organise their events as “Live” Awards and have also done an amazing job under difficult circumstances.  I would encourage you to join in, whether “Live” or “Virtual”, with your colleagues, families and  friends to support these fabulous events.

As industry leader, with a depth understanding of social and economic drivers, AIB has commenced lobbying Government for investment in local manufacturing. Construction has been overlooked as a strategic area of investment and one that employs 1.2 million hard-working Australians. This is exacerbated by the diversion of funds away from local manufacturing to cheaper imports from China. This has a multiplier effect, impacting the growth of local manufacture, employment and increase in household incomes for those folk working in and around the building and construction industry.

The unnecessary pursuit of cheaper products and materials from China is evidenced in the behaviour in certain segments of the industry where a tender is won by a builder and then local supply substituted for cheaper products from China. This “saving” quickly evaporates when we consider the impact of lost income to the economy, for reasons mentioned, along with self-sufficiency, skill development and providing careers for the apprentices, tradespeople and building professionals.

Where we have capacity and capability, lost revenue is conservatively estimated at $4.45 billion. That is, 5% of the $89 billion spent on materials and products for all sectors of building and construction. A recent Centre for Future Work report shows Australia last in the OECD for manufacturing self-sufficiency, and with a trade deficit in manufactures of $180 billion.

Certain details of the taskforce’s final report and its recommendation to grow the sector have leaked, such as a description of the potential for 495,000 new jobs over the decade, based on — among other things — cheaper gas supplies.

Government has shown oversight in key areas including regulation around local content, funding support to increase local manufacturing and embargos on designated products and materials from China. The construction industry stalled during the early stages of the pandemic as factories in China closed down and proved the value of local manufacturing.

Th role of the AIB is to work with Government and industry to provide guidance and understanding of the socio-economic drivers and changes that can be made to address behaviour and decision-making to improve the health and profitability of the industry.

Geoff Dart
Executive Director

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) GUIDELINES FOR THE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY VICTORIA – REVISION 8 RELEASED

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria (Revision 8) are now released together with an Explanatory Note.

Please note that these updated Guidelines have application immediately and are not conditional upon moving to Third stage. They apply from now.

It is anticipated that Revision 8 can remain in place now for some time, however it will of course remain under regular review.

As per advice from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions at the Industry Working Group meeting yesterday it is anticipated that the outstanding corrections/updates to the FAQ’s for Construction and the High Risk COVIDSafe Plan for Construction will be uploaded shortly.

Presentations made at  yesterday’s meeting from The Department of Justice, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and WorkSafe will be distributed once we receive them.

Also below is a brief summary prepared by DHHS of the main features for each sector once Open is declared.

At this point we have no knowledge of what announcements might be made on Sunday.

Industry Guidelines Rev 8 Final 16 October 2020

Explanatory Note for V8 16 October 2020 pp final

Open Requirements once declared – 161020

 

FASTER RAIL: TO WHERE = VERY FAST TRAIN (VFT?)

AIB Executive Director’s response to Transcript of House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities – Options for Financing Faster Rail.

Australian Institute of Building (AIB), the professional body for building practitioners, assist the construction industry to advance through learning. The AIB, through its members, strive for continuous improvement and in doing so, learn from mistakes of the past and  ensure they are not repeated. Most importantly, that government, private enterprise, and industry bodies plan the future collaboratively.

As a society and economy, we cannot afford to waste the opportunity to plan and maximise the significant investment due to short-term thinking. A “Faster Rail” is short-term thinking when the bigger picture is a VFT. Currently, each state is doing its own thing in relation to rail and infrastructure projects, with, in AIB’s view, no master plan. The last time this happened, Australia ended up with three different rail gauges.

History shows that short-term thinking in Infrastructure and projects has led to inadequate public transport, housing, and health facilities. More so, not cognisant of socio-economic and environmental factors that have been mounting for decades.

Australia is expected to be home to 30.0 million in 2031, an increase of 4.4 million on today’s number of 25.6 million. Where these Australians be living, working, traveling to and from, learning and accessing health services will depend on how government, enterprise, and professional industry bodies such as AIB, work together.

A VFT network can underpin a de-centralisation policy that delivers social and economic benefits by way of affordable housing and restricting the urban sprawls, and consequences, of Sydney and Melbourne.  Examples may include Goulburn in NSW and Seymour in Victoria where travel on a VFT to respective hubs in Parramatta and Sunbury is less than an hour away.

These hubs are growth corridors for a range of transport, manufacturing, and service industries and subject to current and planned investment. With significant support from state and federal governments across a range of construction activities, the AIB warns of an impending labour shortage by 2022.  In both instances, construction and investment is going west for reasons mentioned and will be restricted if the labour pool is too shallow.

The warning signs are there. Over-crowding in Sydney and Melbourne with increases in cost of housing as a percentage of household income for renters and owners. Most importantly, a lack of social housing (low income and the homeless) when a solution is in sight. All that is required is an understanding of the broader socio-economic factors inherent in a national, collaborative approach to the VFT and forward thinking.

Geoff Dart
AIB, Executive Director