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CE Update
29 November 2018
Consult Australia

Nicola Grayson, our Director of Policy & Government Relations, has this week commenced in the role of Acting CEO of Consult Australia! Having been with us in her current role since 2017 (and previously from 2004 to 2010) Nicola has a great understanding of Consult Australia and is a passionate advocate for the Association and our members. The Board are currently working through the recruitment process and we look forward to sharing the results with you in due course!

National Partners

Policy news

Transport and Infrastructure Ministers agree to report in 12-months on 'action taken' to improvement procurement

Consult Australia is writing to the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers that sit on the Transport and Infrastructure Council in response to their agreement to take action to improve procurement processes and adopt more market-responsive approaches to risk allocation. We are calling for the establishment of a Centre for Procurement Excellence, adoption of our Model Client Policy, and greater standardisation of contract terms. We have a meeting with the Commonwealth Minister for Infrastructure’s senior advisor this week to discuss. For more information contact Nicola Grayson.



Small business to be paid in 20 days under new Commonwealth Procurement policy

Under a new Commonwealth Procurement Policy any business with over a $100 million turnover seeking to tender for government contracts will be required to pay small business within 20 days. They will also be required to publish payment information on how they engage with small business. NSW is adopting this policy and the Australian Government is urging all other states to do the same. It will also set a target of 35% for all its contracts under $20 million being fulfilled by Australian small and medium businesses. These changes will be introduced from July 2019.



Small Business to have its say on Unfair Contract Terms

The Australian Government is undertaking a review of the current legislative protections provided to small businesses regarding unfair contact terms. The protections apply to the use of standard form contracts with a business of 20 employees or less and the price payable for the contract does not exceed $300,000 or $1 million if the contract runs for more than 12 months. Click here for more information about the review, including the discussion paper. If you would like to pass any comments onto us, please contact Nicola Grayson.



Strong interest from the Federal Labor Party on Consult Australia's Mental Health Report

This week, Consult Australia met with Cathy O'Toole (chair of the Federal Parliamentary Friends of Mental Illness) and an advisor to the Hon Julie Collins MP (the Shadow Mental Health Minister) to discuss mental health in our sector and our latest report on the topic. Feedback on the report was positive, with the recommendations for governments being highlighted in both meetings. Consult Australia agreed to keep both in the loop on the establishment of our Mental Health Ambassadors Network and they were open to being involved at a future event.



Practice Note – Updated Annual Leave Loading Requirements

Consult Australia has updated the Practice Note on the latest annual leave loading requirements under the Professional Employees Award 2010, available to members here (see Personnel Matters). The update reflects the latest change to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) average weekly earnings statistics. As part of this update, the Fair Work Commission also flagged they are undertaking a review of this award, with a focus on removing inconsistencies. For further detail, please contact James Robertson.



Taking a broad brush to reducing Australia's migration intake is not good for our industry

This week we have written to relevant Commonwealth ministers and shadow ministers outlining concerns with recent announcements on a likely reduction to the net migration intake. We have highlighted the impact this may cause on the significant skills shortages in our industry and sought clarity on their plans to ensure skilled migrations arrangements are more responsive to skills gaps. We also again called for faster visa application processing times, and for a re-establishment of the Industry Outreach Program for key sectors. Please contact James Robertson for further detail.



Can we improve the status of the teaching profession and improve STEM outcomes?

The Australian Parliament's House Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training has announced a new inquiry into the status of the teaching profession. The inquiry will examine ways to develop career structures and pathways for teachers to improve the profession. Given our concerns that around 20% of secondary science and maths teachers are teaching 'out of field' and broader challenges around the quality of STEM education, we will put forward a submission. Please contact James Robertson if you have any feedback you would like to share to help shape our submission.



Highlighting the importance of infrastructure governance and addressing skills gaps in Victoria

The Victorian Andrews Labor Government was re-elected last weekend with an increased majority in both houses. Consult Australia is writing to the Victorian Premier and key ministers congratulating them on the results and to take the opportunity to highlight some of our key policy priority areas—including the importance of good infrastructure governance and the skills challenges facing our sector. These issues will also be discussed at our upcoming meet the client event with the CEO of Infrastructure Victoria, Michel Masson, on Wednesday 5 December.


Member services & events

Consult Australia Leaders Conference–Early Bird Registration available until 21 December!

Now in its sixth year the 2019 Consult Australia Leaders Conference will be held at Luna Park Sydney on 20-21 February 2019. Early Bird tickets to the Conference are on now on sale. You can view the 2019 program here and join us at the conference by clicking here to register and taking advantage of our early bird registration!



Consult Australia [Industrial] election results

The AEC has advised the results of the election for Consult Australia [Industrial] and confirmed that the election was conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 and the rules of the organisation. As the number of nominations accepted did not exceed the number of positions to be filled, no vote was required and the following candidates were elected: Andrew Mather (President), Peter Geoghegan (Secretary/Treasurer), Nicholas Murphy, Gerry Doyle and Scott Watson (Councillors).


PI Pathway

Consult Australia is committed to supporting its members in all aspects of their business and we recognise the significant impact that the insurance market has on our member firms in terms of availability, affordability and quality of Professional Indemnity Insurance. Our members consistently tell us that PI Insurance is one of the most critical business issues they face and we are therefore pleased to offer our members access to a referral service that gives them access to broking services and a range of associated support from our PI Pathway Partners—a panel of two brokers Planned Cover and BRIC. You can get more information on this member only service here.

Industry news

Cardno joins the Consult Australia Male Champions of Change Programme

We are delighted to welcome Cardno and Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Ian Ball as the newest members of the Consult Australia’s Male Champions of Change (CAMCC) Programme. The CAMCC programme is a network of Chief Executives and Managing Directors working collaboratively to increase the representation and influence of women within our firms and across the Built Environment who hold each other to account through a rigorous, measurable best practice approach. Cardno joins AECOM, Arcadis, Arup, Aurecon, Beca, Calibre, Douglas Partners, GHD, Jacobs, KBR, Northrop, RLB, SLR, and SMEC.



ACO Innovation

ACO StormBrixx is a unique patented plastic geocellular stormwater management system designed for surface water retention, detention and infiltration. It is a versatile system suitable for applications across all construction environments. It can be installed as a standalone solution or as part of an integrated Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). ACO StormBrixx is the world’s leading stormwater management system for the following reasons:
1. Structural Integrity
2. Access, maintenance and low construction depth
3. Simplified handling and logistics.
Watch the StormBrixx video here to learn more.


Professional Development


Upcoming professional development courses

Did you know that Consult Australia also offers in-house training?
Consult Australia can run our Contracts for Consultants, Role of the Superintendent and Safety in Design courses for your team in-house and can also give you the option to tailor the content to specifically meet your firm’s requirements. Prices for in-house courses are very competitive and you can get more information here or by emailing Enquire now!

Role of the Superintendent | Full Day
This one-day in-house program addresses the legal principles which underpin the role of the superintendent in administering construction and engineering contracts. Superintendents will gain the necessary skills to administer contracts with improved understanding and confidence, more effectively and openly, being aware of common traps that have derailed even the most experienced superintendents. More information / registration.
Sydney: 6 February
Brisbane: 20 March

Contracts for Consultants | Two and a Half Days
Review contracts with confidence. This two-and-a-half day course will systematically take you through each element of a contract so you know what to look out for, how to deal with onerous terms, and how to ensure your insurance will respond. The course is supported by extensive case studies and workshop sessions. More information / registration.
Sydney: 7-9 February
Brisbane: 21-23 March

Safety in Design | Two Days
This intensive two-day seminar addresses safety issues relating to design and provides practical tools on how to eliminate hazards at the design stage. Examples of documentation and procedures are given so you can incorporate SiD into your day-to-day practices. Key advice will be given on compliance with legislative duties across all states. More information / registration.
Adelaide: 14-15 March
Brisbane: 4-5 April

Resolving Conflict Workshop | NSW February 14
Things don’t always go smoothly at work with people; those around you, in your team, your boss, critical stakeholders like customers/clients, suppliers and regulators. Through our natural course of living each day we make choices and decisions; and because of these, we experience a difference of opinion, different priorities, different needs and different expectations with other people. These differences are conflict. This workshop is aimed at business leaders who want to challenge they way they think, feel, and act when confronted with a situation of conflict. Register here.

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