"THE DOWNTURN IS SEVERE"

Written on the 27 February 2015 by Laura Daquino

"THE DOWNTURN IS SEVERE" QUEENSLAND'S infrastructure industry is hanging in the balance, and a leading industry board believes anymore limbo will only have a sinking effect, in light of an estimated 30 to 40 per cent of workers already having left the region in the past few years.

Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ) executive director Roger Black (pictured below right) fears delays in billions of dollars' worth of major projects promised by the Newman Government will see out more workers.

"Things are already quiet - since about 2011 the industry has crashed pretty substantially," says Black.

"Over the last three years Queensland's infrastructure industry has lost 30 to 40 per cent of its skilled workers to New South Wales and overseas, many leaving the industry altogether.

"If the Palaszczuk government (Annastacia Palaszczuk pictured below left) doesn't prioritise a clear plan to ensure a pipeline of projects, then our industry will really be in trouble.

"The health of the state's economy will decline and jobs will disappear."

Black says workers are already leaving the industry at a rapid rate due to lack of work, with the ramification of higher infrastructure delivery costs to taxpayers.

He says "the downturn is severe" and hasn't been this sharp since the early 2000s.

Even the larger Brisbane-based engineering and infrastructure companies, such as Seymour Whyte (ASX: SWL), have somewhat stalled over the period. Private companies Murphy Pipe & Civil, Wagners and Mitchell Group were contacted but declined to comment.

In its recent half year results, SWL reported its NPAT had declined 34 per cent from the previous corresponding period and cited "increased uncertainty in Queensland" potentially pushing back its pipeline.

A primary focus of the company is building a "more balanced business" and relying less on individual geographies. Queensland operations currently contribute 58 per cent of group revenue. 

The IAC's Roger Black says companies are currently facing the dilemma of whether to keep paying staff even though there is less work or letting them go altogether.

"I'm not sure if the government understands this dilemma," says Black.

"Even in the few weeks since the election, a couple of our members [there are 16 in total] have laid off more staff with the most recent rounds occurring on Monday.

"The skills base in Queensland is eroded once governments pause on infrastructure projects - we are left with skills that weren't as strong as they were before."

With asset sales off the table, Black says the IAQ is reinforcing its position on asset recycling to pay for economic enabling infrastructure.

He says the IAC is still yet to meet with the Palaszczuk Government, but opened communication soon after the election.

"The new government's plan is not obvious - I'm sure they have one but obviously these things take time to roll out," says Black.

"Funding alternatives will need to be considered though.

"There are significant opportunities for financing partnerships to build now and pay later, keeping projects moving and skilled workers within our state borders."



Author: Laura Daquino Connect via: Twitter LinkedIn

Latest News

CAMPLIFY MOTORS INTO THE UK MARKET

CARAVAN hire and RV sharing community Camplify has made its move in the European market, establishing its first op...

COCHLEAR R&D INVESTMENT DRIVES NEW PRODUCTS AND BOOSTS PROFIT AND REVENUE

COCHLEAR (ASX: COH) has boosted its 2017 full year net profit by 18 percent to $223.6 million and has forecast furthe...

WESFARMERS BOOKS BUMPER PROFIT BUT SUPERMARKET WAR HITS COLES' BOTTOM LINE

SUPERMARKET giant Coles has posted its biggest slide in earnings since it was acquired by Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) 10 ye...

TREASURY WINES UNCORKS SWEET $269M PROFIT DESPITE INVENTORY WOES

REVEALING the fruits of its past year of labour, Treasury Wine Estates (ASX: TWE) has posted a 55 per cent increas...

Related News

WESFARMERS BOOKS BUMPER PROFIT BUT SUPERMARKET WAR HITS COLES' BOTTOM LINE

SUPERMARKET giant Coles has posted its biggest slide in earnings since it was acquired by Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) 10 ye...

ANALYSTS PREDICT WHAT AUSSIE LIVING IS LIKELY TO BECOME IN THE NEXT CENTURY

AS THE Australian population continues to grow, analysts are predicting what the country is likely to look like wi...

SEVEN WEST REPORTS MASSIVE LOSS AND CUTS CEO TIM WORNER'S PAY PACKET BY $450K

SEVEN West Media (ASX: SWM) has posted a full-year loss of $744.3 million and cut CEO Tim Worner's pay packet by ...

HOW MAKING MISTAKES AND PASSION SCORED WEIGHT LOSS PARTNERS A DEAL WITH SHARK TANK'S JANINE ALLIS

THEY partnered up to provide a scientific and targeted approach to dieting, and Kate Save and Geoff Draper cut Sha...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter