KE and JR. JPG

Latest Pulse update

Have you seen the latest Pulse Update by James and Kristy? They chat about about our Federal Budget Submission. Remember that all past Pulse Updates as well as Policy Chats with guests are available for members on our policy podcast page.

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

federal-budget

FEDERAL BUDGET 2020-21

The 2020-21 Federal Budget was last week handed down by the Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. One area that may be of interest to members is the new JobMaker hiring credits, with this factsheet providing more information.  We also released a summary of the budget for members from our review on the night - this is available at our member-only policy briefing notes.  Let James know if you have any questions.

13 October 2020

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

note board

University reforms pass Parliament

Despite concerns, from us and other stakeholders, legislation for the Job-ready graduates package has now passed Parliament. This change reduces the overall ‘combined maximum funding’ for many STEM degrees relevant to our members, such as engineering. The Senate vote went down to Stirling Griff (SA’s Centre Alliance), who we directly contacted to share our concerns. However, the Senator’s support was secured through an agreement for bespoke concessions for Adelaide-based universities. Our submissions on the legislation are here and here. We will now turn our attention to the design of the package’s National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund to advocate for this to offset some of our concerns.  

12 October 2020

#people

stem-education

Industry linkage fund - consultation

The Federal Education Department is keen to hear about how we can build greater collaboration between universities and businesses. A new National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund is being established for this purpose, and is currently in the design phase - which means your ideas on how this fund could work are being sought. The Department is organising a series of video workshops in October on this consultation paper, so please let James know if you are interested in attending.

12 October 2020

#people

 

infrastructure-australia-audit

2021 Infrastructure plan submission

We recently made a submission to Infrastructure Australia on the 2021 infrastructure reform plan currently under development. This submission is the result of two member workshops with Infrastructure Australia, and includes nine reform recommendations ranging from the procurement strategy for project proposals to career pathways into the industry. Let James know if you have any questions.

12 October 2020

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

Striving  for Mentally Healthy Workplaces

Support our industry's mental health

In response to current COVID-19 impacts on our industry, we believe it is timely to reinvigorate our Mental Health Ambassador Network and are on the lookout for more ambassadors. 

Are you a senior leader from a member firm with a genuine interest in understanding the mental health challenges being experienced across our industry?  Do you have the gravitas and influence to bring about real change? If so, read more here.

12 October 2020

#people 

money

Treasury meeting on COVID-19 impacts

This week we met with Treasury to discuss findings from our latest Industry Health Check and to provide feedback on the latest Federal Budget. We again highlighted the need to focus on a rolling and diverse pipeline by looking at the next wave of projects in addition to shovel-ready work. We also flagged member concerns about project delivery delays and scope changes, and highlighted the benefits of measures that maintain industry capacity. Contact James to hear more.

12 October 2020

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

note board

Invite to participate in ANU research

Professional relationships play a significant role in effective engineering workplaces. Ellen Lynch, a PhD researcher at ANU is seeking participants for a study focused on engineering practitioners’ experiences of building and maintaining workplace and professional relationships. If you graduated between 2000-2010, hold an engineering qualification at any level and have worked in Australia, we’d love to hear from you. If this sounds like you, you’d like to be involved, or you have any questions, please contact Ellen Lynch.

12 October 2020

#people #practice

meeting

SME OPEN FORUM

Our second SME Open Forum was held on 6 October 2020 - providing direct access to Consult Australia's Board President, CEO and Policy Team. We discussed de-risking the PI insurance market, the work of Infrastructure Australia, getting reasonable insurance caps in contracts and engineering registration. Many thanks to those who participated; Gamcorp Structural Engineers, Geotron, GR Webb Consulting, LOTE Consulting Pty Ltd, Nolan Consulting Pty Ltd, Red Fire Engineers, SY Structures.

ca-reverse

Notice for members: Consult Australia [Industrial] Deregistration

Consult Australia confirms that Consult Australia [Industrial] has been deregistered and we will no longer be offering the services associated with it. The service was set up in 2014 but, due to lack of take-up and usage, the cost of maintaining the service is not sustainable, therefore we have deregistered the service with Fair Work Australia. If you have any questions regarding this, please contact Nicola Grayson at nicola@consultaustralia.com.au.

7 October 2020

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement

note board

Consultation on industry-led roadmap - insulation

The Australian Sustainable Built Environment Environment Council (ASBEC) and the Energy Efficiency Council (EEC) have released a consultation paper on an industry-led roadmap for quality control and safety in the installation of insulation in buildings. This project is a joint initiative of the NSW and VIC Governments, Insulation Australasia and the Insulation Council of Australia and New Zealand. The project's aim is to facilitate actions from industry, government and community that will de-risk insulation installation. 

Consult Australia members are encouraged to provide comment on the consultation paper before 30 October 2020. ASBEC and EEC will also holding a public information webinar on 12 October 2020 from 3:30-5pm AEST - register here.

30 September 2020

#practice

glasses text

NEW BRIEFINGS ON CONTRACT TERMS

Members are encouraged to have a look at the new range of Briefing Notes relevant to contract terms:  

  • Fitness for Purpose - both Client and Member Briefing Notes
  • Proportionate Liability - Client Briefing Note
  • Security/Bank Guarantees - Client Briefing Note

Member Briefing Notes are for members to use within their businesses to increase understanding of the relevant topic. Client Briefing Notes are for members to share with their clients as a knowledge-sharing tool. 

Would like other contract issues covered? Let Kristy know!

30 September 2020

#procurement

albionpark-railbypass1

OUR SECOND INDUSTRY HEALTH CHECK

The results of our second Industry Health Check (September 2020) are available here.  These highlight a slight pick-up in work for some areas since our last survey in May 2020, however the average downturn is still a concern.  The results also highlight significant impacts from the stage 4 business restrictions in Victoria.

21 September 2020

#practice #pipeline #procurement #people

caution

UPDATED: Avoiding Restrictive Trade Practices

All members are asked to ensure they have made themselves familiar with our Practice Note on Consult Australia Activities and Avoiding Restrictive Trade Practices. We update and circulate this Practice Note regularly to ensure that members are aware of their obligations under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 when participating in Consult Australia activities. Contact Kristy if you have any questions.

14 September 2020

#practice

rulers

Volunteer Needed - STandards Australia Committee

Know the ins and outs of formwork for concrete? We need you to represent Consult Australia on the Standards Australia committee looking to standardise  the field of construction of formwork and the control of concrete surfaces. Information on the relevant standards are available on the Standards Australia Website. Contact Kristy by 5 October 2020 to register your interest.

14 September 2020

#practice

canberra-parliament

Higher Education Amendment Bill

See our submission for the Australian Senate Education and Employment Committee's inquiry into the Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.  We raise concerns with the proposed reduction in overall funding per student for degree types such as engineering.

11 September 2020

#people 

urgent

URGENT: ISSUES WITH VIC CSR?

Are you having any difficulties with the Victorian Construction Supplier Register (CSR)? We are urgently seeking your comments. We are advocating for changes to the CSR and the underlying requirements in the Building Act 1993 (Vic). For example, some businesses are struggling to comply with the requirement to ensure all registration classes are represented on the company board of directors. Victoria's stimulus projects will be at risk without changes to the CSR - the time for action is now. Please contact Kristy now to share your concerns.  

11 September 2020

 #practice #procurement

red scissors

SMALL WINS TO MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE

On 9 September 2020, we attended an Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) event with the Hon. Ben Morton MP, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister. In his role heading up the Federal Government's deregulation agenda, he is looking for small wins that will make a real difference for business. In addition to occupational mobility and modernising business communications the Assistant Minister wants to hear from industry on the practical and granular examples you have of unnecessary regulation or duplication of effort (especially between the Commonwealth and states/territories). With a business-led response to Australia's economic recovery, now is the time to act. Contact Kristy to talk through ideas on existing barriers and potential red tape reduction.

9 September 2020

#practice

lock yellow wall

NEW CLIENT BRIEFING ON SECURITY/BANK GUARANTEES

Our new Client Briefing explains the why and how of security/bank guarantee undertakings in contracts including why they are not suitable for a consultancy contract. Members are encouraged to share this with their clients to increase knowledge-sharing. Access the briefing from the members-only Briefing Notes resource.

8 September 2020

#procurement

open sign

SME Open Forum

Our second SME Open Forum will be on 6 October 2020 - providing direct access to Consult Australia's Board President, CEO and Policy Team. After the success of our first forum we are looking forward to an even stronger attendance to discuss any and all concerns and questions from our SME members. Many thanks to those who participated in our first forumACS Engineers, Gamcorp Structural Engineers, Geo-Environmental Engineering, GML Heritage, HDR, Lateral Property Group, Pritchard Francis and SY Structures.

8 September 2020

#practice #pipeline #procurement #people

download

FEDERAL BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS

This week we submitted our priorities to the Federal Treasury's consultation on the 2020-21 Budget. We used our submission to emphasis the importance of infrastructure and built environment projects for Australia's economic recovery from COVID-19.  This includes fourteen recommendations across our four policy priorities.  Read our submission here.

28 August 2020

#practice #pipeline #procurement #people

hourglass

Insurance Survey by Infrastructure Australia

We strongly encourage members to respond to Infrastructure Australia's survey on access to insurance in the Australian infrastructure sector. They would like input from: construction executives, designers, architects, major suppliers, consulting engineers or other impacted businesses that participate in our industry. The short (2 minute) survey about your current insurance situation – is available via: https://lnkd.in/gCvXstn. If you prefer you can contact Tim Mumford or Peter Colacino.  Comments will inform the Australian Infrastructure Plan 2021 and advice to government on the health of the sector. You can also read IA's privacy statement here: https://lnkd.in/gMqj4fG 

19 August 2020

#procurement

contracts-tile

Job-ready Graduates Package

See our submission for the Federal Department of Education's consultation on draft legislation to enact proposed university funding reforms. Our primary concern is the potential decline in overall funding per student for a number of degree types related to our industry. We also ask for more information on the proposed National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund.

18 August 2020

#people #practice

notes

REMOTE WORK MEMBER GUIDES

We have released two new member guides on remote working. The first sumarises guidance for employees and employers on remote working, and also provides tips for individuals and managers. The second provides advice on identifying a colleague who may be struggling when in a remote working environment, and shares tips on providing support. Read them here (members only).

11 August 2020

#people

download

JobKeeper changes

In response to the continued outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria, the Australian Government has announced further changes to employer and employee eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper 2.0 wage subsidy scheme.  Businesses will now only have to demonstrate the turnover decline for the September, and employees eligible will be based on 1 July (rather than 1 March). Read more here

9 August 2020

#people #practice

 

 
Ban sign

Seeking input - non-conforming bids

Tell Kristy about your experience of non-conforming/non-compliant bids. Consult Australia is drawing together member-experience to identify potential improvements to government procurement. What reason have your business been given to justify a finding that your bid was 'non-confirming'/'non-compliant'? Prior to tender, are you given transparency as to the criteria for determining non-conformance?

7 August 2020

#procurement

melbourne-cbd

VIC Worker Permit Scheme (COVID-19)

Victorian members should be aware that the Victorian Government has introduced a new workers permit scheme in response to stage four restrictions in Melbourne. From Thursday 6 August (inclusive), employers must issue a permit to employees that they require to attend a workplace such as a construction site. Employees must carry this permit when travelling to and from a workplace, with photo identification.  Further information on the scheme, including employer eligibility, is available here

5 August 2020

#people #practice #vic

How are you

Mental Health Guides

We have just published two new mental health guides. One on the link between mental health and physical health and safety. The other on domestic and family abuse. Thanks to our Mental Health Working Group for developing these guides to support members and their employees on key mental health concerns from COVID-19. Look out for future guides on connecting with people using technology and identifying colleagues who may be struggling in a remote work environment.

30 July 2020

#people

Chain

Modern Slavery Practice Note

Thanks to Unchained Business Services for an exclusive practice note on the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth) for our members. The note covers the Act's impact on businesses and supply chains, provides tips on risk mitigation and highlights the business case for action in this space.

30 July 2020

#people #practice

Australia pins

STAY INFORMED

Don't forget to check the state/territory news pages for the latest on local issues including government engagement, reforms and priorities; ACT, NSW, NT, QLDSA, TAS, VIC, WA.

Also, stay informed of the latest priorities and opportunities to participate in our roundtables and working groups.

#people #pipeline #practice #procurement