(Australian Associated Press)
The Master Builders have added their voice to the chorus calling for the federal government to bring forward infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy.
Chief executive Denita Warn joined the Reserve Bank of Australia, state governments and the Labor opposition in pushing for more infrastructure funding.
“Yes there are some capacity pressures from mega-projects in Melbourne and Sydney but that’s not the case in Perth, Darwin, Adelaide or the regions,” she said in Canberra on Tuesday.
“There’s also plenty of capacity and capability in our industry to construct local urban transport and social infrastructure.
“It’s with these smaller projects that the Prime Minister can draw on capacity of smaller contractors – a call that Master Builders backs 100 per cent.”
The construction has ramped up heavily in major cities, leading to concerns about the capacity of workers to take on new projects.
Reserve Bank Governor Dr Philip Lowe last month urged the federal government to look at smaller projects in regional areas.
“They’re not as big as building a metro in Sydney – but they can be more widely dispersed across the country and that can help us all,” Dr Lowe told an economics committee in August.
“Right across the country there is the capacity to do more infrastructure spending that would make people’s lives better.”
The most recent national accounts show the Australian economy grew just 0.5 per cent in the June quarter and 1.4 per cent over the year.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed a Master Builders event in Parliament House and said he had spoken to all the state and territory leaders about bringing projects forward.
“One of the other things we’re working hard on is I want to see more tier two and three contractors in these big projects,” Mr Morrison said.
“I commend the work that Michael McCormack has been doing working with the inland rail, in breaking these projects up into smaller contract sizes.”