Last week, myself and National President, David Burnell met with The Hon Karen Andrews’ (Minister for Industry, Science and Technology) adviser at Parliament House to set the scene of the AIB and discuss key issues affecting the industry.

These included:

-Taking action on back of the release of the Shergold Weir Report
-Taking action on the back of the release of the Security of Payments/John Murray report
-The continuation of the Building Minsters Forum.

One of the things that I previously brought up with Craig Laundy before he stepped down in his role and did again last week with the new Minister’s office was the fact that we continue to be stumped as to why the Federal Government has not dedicated a Minister to Building and Construction.

This in the face of an industry that employs approximately 10% of Australia’s workforce and generates approximately 12% of Australia’s GDP. When in New Zealand recently for the NZIOB Awards, I sat next to the NZ Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa who expressed a level of surprise that we did not have such a position in Canberra.

Surely this must change if we are to move forward. What we need is a Ministerial ‘Champion’ for the profession – a Minister that can drive change through legislation, a Minister that will collaborate, a Minister that will champion the ongoing work of the Building Ministers Forum, a Minister who will consult and as per the Shergold Weir Report, address the roles and responsibilities of Regulators and address continuing professional development (CPD) through things such as the NCC. This if course only being the tip of the iceberg.

As a member of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF), I have brought this up on a number of occasions and will continue to do so through other forums as well and in particular, as we head toward a federal election mid next year (perhaps!)

Have a great weekend ahead everyone,

Greg Hughes