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CE Update
28 June 2018
Consult Australia
Key industry issues discussed at second annual Policy Dialogue Day


Consult Australia hosted key Commonwealth Liberal, Labor, and Green Party Parliamentarians in Canberra this week, including the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, and the Minister for Buildings, Small and Family Business. Senior leaders from Consult Australia's membership heard from the Government and Opposition regarding their approaches to future infrastructure planning, with both sides strongly endorsing the work of Infrastructure Australia. The issues of capacity in both industry and governments to deliver projects, particularly with the continued onerous risk allocation through the contractual chain were raised.


National Partners

Policy news

Consult Australia's congratulated for its work on the Model Client Policy by the Commonwealth Department of Finance

Consult Australia also hosted senior officials from the Department of Infrastructure and the Department of Finance at its Policy Dialogue Day in Parliament this week. Both acknowledged Consult Australia’s work on the Model Client Policy, and the Department of Finance referred to it as an excellent document and a testament to the quality of work produced by us. The Department believes that it aligns with its own Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines, and encouraged Consult Australia to continue to work with the Department on these issues.



Consult Australia fights for use of collaborative forms of contract on major projects

In meeting with the Secretaries for the Commonwealth Departments of Finance and Infrastructure, Consult Australia has been pursuing buy-in for our Model Client Policy. In response the Departments have asked Consult Australia to provide a briefing on the problems surrounding Design and Construct contracting, with a view to brokering the use of collaborative contracting (i.e. alliance contract) for major projects. Members wishing to find out more and assist in this work should contact Nicola Grayson.



Do your clients follow 'Model Client' behaviour?

Consult Australia's Model Client Policy calls on all levels of government clients to behave ethically, fairly, and honestly in their dealings with the private sector. The Policy contains 14 standards for Model Client behaviour. You can use the Model Client Policy in your contractual negotiations with your clients if you are faced with contractual terms that you believe are inappropriate or onerous in nature. You may wish to share these examples with Consult Australia to assist us in making representations to governments for behavioural change.



Legislation to establish an independent infrastructure advisory body in South Australia 'Infrastructure SA' is announced

The South Australian Government has introduced the Infrastructure SA Bill 2018 into Parliament, which will establish an independent infrastructure advisory body to provide a 20-year Infrastructure Strategy for the State. In a win for independence, while the Body will provide advice to Government Ministers, the draft legislation states that Infrastructure SA will not be subject to Ministerial direction in the exercise of its functions or powers (the Victorian model). The Board will have an independent chair, and independent members in addition to government representatives.



Terminating a contract due to insolvency – new law

A new law will take effect to assist businesses in financial distress on 1 July 2018. Most commercial contracts contain the right to terminate due to the insolvency of the other party. For contracts entered into from 1 July 2018 this contractual right will be limited, i.e. the right to terminate may be 'stayed' or made ‘temporarily unenforceable' for a specified period of time in order to allow the business in financial distress the chance to restructure. It is advisable to seek legal advice before terminating a contract due to insolvency given this change—read more here.



Final National Infrastructure Data Collection and Dissemination Plan (Data Plan) is released

The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) has led the development of the National Data Plan. This is intended to improve and coordinate information and data collection across key transport and infrastructure stakeholders, and provide improved and more timely information for infrastructure investment decisions and monitoring of the performance of Australia's infrastructure networks. Developing opportunities to harness new data sources (including 'Big Data') from emerging data sources is a key part of the Plan's development. A copy of the final plan is available here.



Measuring the progress of infrastructure reform

Infrastructure Australia has released its report into the progress of the 2016 Australian Infrastructure Plan, which provided 78 recommendations for infrastructure reform. The report finds progress in the integration of land use and transport planning, heavy vehicle road user charging, addressing transport pinch points corridor protection, business case development and increased openness to using government debt to fund projects. However, the report finds instances where reform has stalled or failed to provide the envisaged benefits—including lack of progress on road market reform. The report can be viewed here.



STEM outreach work – What is your firm doing?

As part of our investigation regarding what is being done (by Government, Industry and our firms directly) in terms of improving the pipeline of future STEM graduates, we are asking all firms to let us know what programs you might have in place (in schools, universities etc) to encourage young people into careers in STEM. We know that many of our firms have some great programs in place (like bridge building competitions etc) and we would like to do a stock take of what is already occurring before we embark on any further work ourselves. Could you please assist in this by noting in the table here any programs your firm has in place, and send it to by COB Friday 13 July.


Member services & events

Free Webinar: Charting your Future Success: Benchmarks and Best Practices to Elevate your Firm in 2018 and Beyond

Join Consult Australia and Deltek on Wednesday 4 July for a free webinar: As experts in the art of designing outcomes, architecture, engineering and construction design firms should always apply the same diligence to their business operations. Deltek presents their latest global research to help you design your firm of the future by establishing baselines, defining best practices and identifying improvement areas to achieve competitive advantage. Register here.


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

Australia's first website dedicated to pedestrian safe pavement drainage design

ACO believes that effective stormwater management is required for a long lasting pavement and that foot friendly grates are necessary for pedestrian safety. As a result they have launched a new website highlighting its extensive range of Heelsafe® Anti-Slip, pedestrian safe grates at Sign up to your free industry guide helping designers achieve pedestrian safe pavements here.



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.
Brisbane: 8 August

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.
Brisbane: 9-11 August

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: 26-27 July
Brisbane: 20-21 August


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