MEDIA RELEASE | THURSDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2017
The Association of Professional Engineers Australia (APEA) today called on the South Australia Government to adopt mandatory registration of all engineers, following revelations that almost half the State’s 1500 bridges are in disrepair.
The professional body which represents degree-qualified engineers said unlike other states including Queensland, and soon in Victoria and the ACT there is no current requirement in SA for engineers to be registered and this was contributing to the poor quality of maintenance and management of the state’s bridges.
“Unlike most other professions which have an impact on public safety, anyone can call themselves an engineer in South Australia. It doesn’t make sense. You wouldn’t let an unlicensed builder build your dream home, yet Government allows unregistered engineers to administer our state’s most critical infrastructure,” said Sarah Andrews, South Australian Director of APEA.
“We’ve been trying to meet with the Government to express these concerns but they have so far declined to meet.”
She said South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mullighan was putting South Australian lives at risk by sitting idle while the state’s bridges crumble.
“Minister Mullighan would rather sit on his hands and watch the state crumble around him, instead of taking one minute to look at what can be done to fix the current mess, and prevent it from happening in the future,” said Ms Andrews.
“Failing to invest in engineers costs the state money and puts lives at risk.
“Twenty of the worst ranked bridges carry thousands of commuters into the CBD each day and if just one of those brides collapses under the weight of train, the loss of life and damage to the state would be catastrophic.”
A recent report produced by APEA shows that Governments across Australia are wasting up to 21.2% of taxpayer funded infrastructure. The findings from the Better Infrastructure report have prompted other States to act, while South Australia stays quiet.
The key policy recommendation in APEA’s report is mandatory registration for professional engineers.
“There is no current requirement for engineers to be registered in the state, meaning anyone can call themselves an engineer,” said Ms Andrews.
“It’s time for Minister Mullighan and the Opposition to take action to ensure the safety, long-term security and cost-effective delivery of South Australia’s infrastructure.
“The first step is to produce and publish a dedicated policy supporting the growth and development of South Australia’s engineering work-force, with the first item being mandatory engineer registration,” said Ms Andrews.