Engineers Australia submission to Government infrastructure spending inquiry

An Engineers Australia submission calling for standardised acquisition processes, increased technical expertise and reduced tender costs has been presented to the Commonwealth Parliament’s inquiry into procurement practices for government-funded infrastructure.
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Procurement practices for government funded infrastructure projects are being reviewed for reform by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities.

The inquiry will aim to ensure Australia’s $110 billon, 10-year infrastructure pipeline results in the best value spending and life-cycle outcomes for tax-payer funded projects.

Engineers Australia took the opportunity to provide a submission to the enquiry detailing recommendations to consider for implementation in the project procurement process.

These included standardised acquisition processes for strategic resource use, increased state-to-state cooperation to leverage supply chain opportunities, increased technical expertise in procurement, and the adoption of new models for infrastructure planning, funding, and delivery.

Implementation of an industrialised construction method was suggested. Industrialised construction is an innovative build system in which the design and manufacturing of structural components are automated and developed in a factory prior to delivery and assembly on site.

The submission also called on the government to consider changes to tendering and contracting processes to make it more accessible for small-medium enterprise bidders.

Chair of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities, John Alexander OAM MP, said the inquiry is timely and important as Australia focuses on its economic recovery.

“The committee will examine challenges and opportunities to enhance Australia’s sovereign industry capability, including for Australian-owned businesses. We are keen to hear about: what is working well here and internationally; opportunities to improve procurement practices; and how governments at all levels can better cooperate on infrastructure procurement.”

Engineers Australia will work with the committee on further discussions through the inquiry if required.