Australian construction body welcomes NWS approach to pandemic

27 March 2020

Infrastructure Partnerships Australia (IPA) has welcomed New South Wales government’s commitment to continue infrastructure and construction sector in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IPA’s Executive, Adrian Dwyer, said NSW’s stance should be mirrored across the country; “Today’s message from the NSW government that it remains focused on the continued delivery of projects in response to COVID-19 is welcome news for a sector that continues to provide an essential economic service during these unprecedented times.”

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IPA is an infrastructure think tank, providing independent policy research focused on social and economic infrastructure.

“As the policy response to COVID-19 rapidly evolves, the NSW Government has given confidence to the sector that it will remain flexible in the face of this crisis and continue to work cooperatively with its infrastructure delivery partners,” said Mr Dwyer. 

Earlier this week, a spokesperson for the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF), told International Construction; ”many sites remain open and contractors are continuing to press ahead with delivering projects.

”Although this will depend upon emerging case numbers, WHS policies, and further workplace restrictions aimed to help limiting the spread of COVID-19.”

Mr Dwyer at IPA added; ”Around $185 billion dollars of public funding is being invested in infrastructure projects across Australia over the next four years, providing a vital lift in economic growth. Maintaining focus on the pipeline of existing projects should remain a paramount priority for all governments delivering infrastructure projects across the country.

“While maintaining focus on project delivery to underpin the economy, we must also begin to focus on postcrisis mobilisation and planning for an infrastructure-led stimulus”.

Meanwhile, ACIF has set up a web page providing Australian contractors with guidance on the pandemic. 

The association said; ”Planning, collaboration, and leadership for the industry is urgently needed to mitigate the very real possibilities that threaten the construction industry, a major driver of the Australian economy.

”Further, with the growing number of people infected or staying away from workplaces due to fear of infection or restrictions on trade, this is having a major impact on the construction industry and the Australian workforce as a whole.”

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