APESMA has argued for more engineers to be hired to stop infrastructure blowouts in its submission to a Victorian parliamentary inquiry.
Chris Walton – CEO of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia said only engineers had the right skills and experience to know how much it should cost to build different types of infrastructure projects.
“How could you possibly know how much a train line or a bridge should cost unless you’ve actually built one before?” Mr Walton said.
“Politicians and accountants just don’t know if they are getting good value for money or not unless they get advice from properly skilled engineers.“
Over the past few decades the Government has hired fewer and fewer engineers and it has resulted in more and more cost blowouts.”
Mr Walton said there had been a subtle change in attitude shown by the submissions to the inquiry provided by the Department of Treasury and Finance, and the Victorian Auditor General.
“Both the Treasury and the Auditor General now seem to acknowledge that if the Government had more engineering experts they wouldn’t be ripped off as often as they are.
“And if they hired more engineers they could build more infrastructure for less money.”
According to the Blake Dawson report Scope for Improvement, 42% of projects are inadequately scoped before going to market.
It identified that a lack of scoping expertise was causing significant cost overruns of up to 20% on infrastructure projects.With the Victorian Government set to spend $20.4 billion on infrastructure over the next four years, they could save up to $4 billion if they costed their projects properly with more experts such as engineers.
APESMA will be providing evidence to this committee’s hearings on this topic.
To provide your views to this important inquiry please submit your comments below.