New South Wales’ peak representative body for employers in the civil construction and maintenance industry, the Civil Contractors Federation NSW, has applauded the NSW Government for its decisive step to announce today $1 billion in funding for the reconstruction of bushfire damaged infrastructure, but implores the Government to keep the funds in local communities by awarding contracts to local, rural businesses.
“For many rural towns and communities, reconstructing this infrastructure is about their survival,” said CCF NSW Chief Executive David Castledine in response to the NSW Government’s announcement.
“Rural communities need the assets repaired, but they also desperately need these funds circulating in their economies. We know that for every $1 expended locally on civil infrastructure, $2.17 is stimulated locally.
“Local civil construction businesses need these contracts so they can survive, and to continue employing local people.
“We wrote to the NSW Government on December 5 last year to say the impact of the collapse of work volumes caused by the drought was dire, and that leadership was needed to get civil construction projects happening quickly.
“We recommended several strategies, but they start with a commitment to fund work.
“This is an amazing start. Thank you, Premier. Thank you, Treasurer.
“We will now talk to the Government about how best to ensure the maximum value is achieved from the spending. The contracts need to be let to small- and medium-sized local firms.
“There is no value for money in bundling multiple projects into large contracts and having project management fees hived off to pay for escalating city office lease fees.
“This is an extraordinary step by the NSW Government. But if survival is to occur, awarding of contracts directly to small to medium local rural businesses is essential,” concluded Mr Castledine.