Home' Future Building: The Australian Infrastructure Review : Volume 4 Number 1 Contents futurebuilding 45
Volume 4 Number 1
Truss, has made positive comments about the
government's priorities and funding options, and
I welcome Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane's
comments regarding the likely fast-tracking of coal
seam gas projects in New South Wales -- subject, of
course, to the state government's agreement.
Infrastructure, the coal seam gas sector and
a whole lot of other opportunities in Australia will
create thousands of jobs, boost domestic supplies
and be a key driver for our economic growth. But so
far, it is all talk.
All of us are under obligation to hold the politicians
and our governments accountable for the promises
they have made. They need to create certainty in the
pipeline of work that is coming our way.
We shape the vision within our company on
the opportunities that are outlined ahead of us.
We are looking for a high level of certainty in the
commitments and the investments that we make.
Infrastructure should not be a political football
anywhere in this country.
That brings me to the importance of agility.
Our industry, more than most, is vulnerable to
unpredictable uctuations that are often outside of
our control. Commodity prices, weather, geotechnical
risk, global events -- there is a whole raft of them.
It's in these sorts of decisions that to tack or to jibe,
or to just bunker down, will ultimately determine our
future success or failure. Historically, we have been
able to rely on diversi cation as a strategy.
In fact, there was an uncanny counter-cyclicality
to the timing of sectors, industries and government
spending that Thiess and other companies are well
aware of, and you use this in leveraging your position.
As contractors, we found comfort in this. It
allowed us to redeploy resources and efforts to where
there was capital spending occurring.
So what is different today? We have just come
off a stimulus package from the global downturn.
There was plenty of work out there at the time, but
that has now come to an end as governments tighten
their budgets. We then had continuing strong growth
in the new resources projects that replaced this. But
in 2013, this has also started to decline as current
projects are being completed, but very few new
projects are coming onstream.
And so we now look to government infrastructure
spending to make up that difference. Contractors are
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