Professionals Australia’s National Vice President Andreas Marquardt has delivered a briefing on the Better Infrastructure campaign to the Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese.
Mr Albanese greeted the campaign with enthusiasm and asked that Professionals Australia keep him up to date with developments on both the Better Infrastructure campaign, and the views of members regarding the development of Commonwealth funded infrastructure projects.
In a speech to the National Press Club on urban development on the same day that he met with Professionals Australia, Mr Albanese said the Opposition believed that Australia needed “a considered national response, policy leadership and the involvement of all levels of government, working with the private sector” to develop the infrastructure “our nation needs and expects”.
Mr Marquardt said that briefing Mr Albanese provided “a great opportunity” to get the Better Infrastructure campaign on the national agenda.
“We raised the valid concerns of engineers around inadequate investment in engineering capacity and skills, and the direct impact this has on the value and utility of what is delivered to the taxpayer,” said Mr Marquardt.
“We know that state governments have been cutting engineering capacity. We know the constraints that this has placed on individual engineers – in the private and public sectors.
“We know that issues with scoping, design and delivery of infrastructure leads to significant waste. It’s a multi-billion dollar problem that should be spoken about in our national parliament.
“Engineers ensure the community receives efficient and effective solutions to everyday problems like power, water and transport. However, as a result of the de-professionalisation of the public sector over the past decade, Australian governments no longer have the capacity to effectively manage infrastructure delivery and as a result are wasting billions each year. Imagine what we could be delivering to the community for those spare billions.
Mr Marquardt said that Professionals Australia would continue to work with both sides of politics, to advocate for engineers playing a critical role in cutting waste in infrastructure.
“We will work diligently to ensure all parliamentarians with responsibility in infrastructure, hear our calls for better infrastructure and investment in engineering capacity,” said Mr Marquardt.
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