CCF WA has cautiously welcomed the State Government’s commitment to compensating the Roe 8 alliance but has warned that this must not be at the expense of other contracting companies.
CCF WA CEO Jeff Miller said the Roe 8 contractors and their employees had been left high and dry by the cancellation of Roe 8 and deserved some form of compensation.
But he said comments from the Government that the compensation would involve work on other ‘shovel-ready’ projects would be sounding alarm bells for the broader industry.
“Our industry knows that projects don’t just drop out of the sky,” Mr Miller said. “They need to be carefully planned and designed, and the community needs to be consulted – taxpayers expect nothing less.”
“It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that the only shovel-ready projects available – the type that might provide near-term employment for the thousands of workers whose jobs are threatened by the cancellation of Roe 8 – will be projects that are already in development.
“We’re concerned that the Government is just shifting the problem. Clearly, taking work that other contractors would have bid on does not save a single job.
“Realistically, any genuinely new projects will take 6-12 months to develop. In the short-term, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there will be job losses.”
“Longer-term, we want to see a plan to restore those jobs and revive WA’s road building industry.
“Main Roads WA needs to be provided with the resources to hire more designers and engineers who can create a pipeline of genuinely new opportunities for WA contractors – not existing projects brought forward a few months.
“Perth motorists will know there is certainly no shortage of potential projects. Infrastructure Australia has warned that congestion on metropolitan roads could cost the WA economy $16 billion a year in lost productivity within 15 years.
“If the Government is serious about protecting construction industry jobs, it needs to act now.”