Moves by the West Australian Government to fast-track major construction projects across the State have been welcomed by Cement, Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA), as an important first step in helping the economic recovery post COVID 19.
The announcement by the WA Premier is in line with the policy priorities recently unveiled by CCAA, which called on State governments nationally to prioritise jobs and investment in the construction sector while keeping communities safe.
The Chief Executive Officer of CCAA, Ken Slattery, said the organisation was pleased to see the WA Government take the lead in fast tracking major projects while also streamlining the regulations applying for projects worth up to $20 million, which were essential to the economic recovery of the State.
“The battle against COVID 19 has been costly, with close to 100 Australians having lost their lives, large parts of the economy placed in lockdown, and hundreds of thousands of jobs having been lost, at least for the time being,” he said. “But as we start to make significant gains on the health front, the time has come to start looking beyond the pandemic at how Australia can recover economically.
“The Australian construction sector is an essential component of the national economy, accounting for about 10 per cent of our GDP, and employing over 1.2 million people across the country, many of them, small business owners.
“So, we are well placed to help kick-start the national recovery, working closely with Federal and State governments to ensure the sector continues to operate safely, provide jobs for Australians – and help to rebuild a strong and prosperous economy.”
Mr Slattery said the heavy construction material industry was a critical part of a highly integrated national supply chain, which included a major presence in WA.
“In WA, as elsewhere in Australia, our industry mines, manufactures and distributes the products that are essential to those critical projects that are keeping Australia going during this crisis and will beyond,” he added. “And the construction materials we provide are locally sourced, employing local workers and making a major contribution to the local economy now and into the future through the recovery phase.”
The Chair of the CCAA State Committee in WA, Rebecca Reeves, said the announcement by Premier Mark McGowan recognised the key role played by the construction sector in underpinning a strong and sustainable State economy.
“The economic recovery in WA will depend, to a larger extent, on the ability of the heavy construction materials industry to do what we do best: provide a reliable and efficient supply chain that help kick start major infrastructure projects and in the process, create new jobs and encourage further investment,” Ms Reeves said.
“We strongly welcome the WA Government’s measures.”