From the Acting Chair – Stephen Fryer

Amy Ruth MacDonald the Chair of the Consult Australia NSW Committee is currently on parental leave. It is with pleasure that I have accepted the role as Acting Chair and look forward to working with members of the NSW Committee over the next year. 

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and live. Despite this Consult Australia has continued to put members front of mind, providing the benefits that being a member of our association brings. This includes a pipeline of on-line events and undertaking relevant work in advocacy and policy and many other areas to help you achieve your business needs.

Consult Australia has recently launched its new informative website. When you visit you will find considerable information to assist your organisational strategies and day to day operations. The new site provides members, business partners, and visitors an easier way to view our services and solutions, giving you faster access to the information you want.

I take this opportunity to welcome two new members to the NSW Committee being:

  • Kate Day, Manager- Environmental Assessment & Planning, GHD Pty Ltd
  • Mark Carling, Director of Transport NSW & Qld, Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd

The NSW Committee currently has two vacancies, if you would like further involvement with Consult Australia in a committee capacity please contact

A list of current NSW Committee members can be found here.

I look forward to working with Linda Gaunt the NSW State Manager and my fellow NSW Committee members over the next twelve months.


COVID 19 – NSW Update

Consult Australia has developed several briefing notes to assist member firms, clients, government departments and agencies, as well as the broader industry respond to COVID-19. 

In May an industry health check was conducted whereby member firms where asked to provide feedback on COVID-19 impacts as well as their perspective on the six-month outlook. It is envisaged another health check will occur again soon.

We have also been undertaking an extensive range of policy and advocacy engagements with Ministers and government departments and agencies in response to COVID-19. This has included letters to Premier, Treasurer and other Key Ministers as well as meetings and workshops with TfNSW, INSW, DPIE and Sydney Metro to name a few. 

More details on all of the above can be found here


Design and Building Practitioners Bill ACT 2020 (NSW)

The Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 (NSW) passed Parliament on 3 June 2020 and is now the Design and Building Practitioners ACT 2020, details can be found here

Key aspects of the new legislation include:

  • Obligations on design practitioners to prepare and declare regulated designs
  • A statutory duty of care
  • A registration scheme for engineers

Consult Australia advocacy on the Bill did get reflected in the following areas:

  • We advocated for a protection for practitioners against being improperly influenced into providing a declaration. This is reflected in the final legislation (in contrast the Consultation Draft of the Bill which only prohibited a practitioner from receiving a benefit in exchange for a declaration).
  • We advocated for the developer to be captured by the legislation – this is somewhat reflected in the duty of care applying to a person that is ‘(d) supervising, coordinating, project managing or otherwise having substantive control over the carrying out of any work referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)

We will now assist produce additional guidance on the legislation, including the duty of care and compliance regime. Government roundtables on the regulations has commenced and Consult Australia has representation at each roundtable.

New Mental Health Member Guides

Our Mental Health Working Group is developing guides to support members and their employees on key mental health concerns from COVID-19. This week we have released guides on the link between mental health and physical health and safety, and domestic and family abuse. These are available to members here, along with a broader guide on COVID-19 and mental health released in April.  Over the next month, we will launch guides on connecting with people using technology and identifying colleagues who may be struggling in a remote work environment. Contact James Robertson.    


JobKeeper 2.0

The Federal Government last week announced the extension of, and changes to, the JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme. These changes include re-assessments of business eligibility for the scheme through new turnover tests, and the tampering of payments to eligible employees from late September until late March 2021. We have developed a member-only briefing note on these changes, which is available here. Contact James Robertson


Property Tax Reforms Working Group

This week our new Property Tax Reforms Working Group will be meeting to shape a new report we are developing on the topic.  Changes to stamp duty and land tax are becoming hot topics in NSW as the Treasurer promote changes that will encourage an upswing of investments in the property market and to drive the COVID-19 economic recovery.  These changes are positive for many of our members as improving the investment appetite will result in more demand for design, advisory and engineering services for building projects.  Our working group will be meeting fortnightly for one hour over the next two months – if you would like to join to help us influence the property tax reform debate in NSW, please contact James Robertson


Exclusive Member On-Line Discussions 

Currently our exclusive member only Boardroom Luncheons have changed format and become exclusive On-line Discussions. Moving to on-line has proved to be very successful with those who attend still receiving the high-quality content on-line.

Recent successful discussions have included:

By visiting here on a regular basis for an event update you can be sure not to miss out on these valuable discussions. 

Future Leader Program (FNBL)

This year’s FNBL program has been facilitated with a difference. Unable to meet face to face, each session has been run on-line. With the professional presenters that we use and a dedicated group of participants the program has been running successfully. This year’s project is the redevelopment of the accommodation in the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens that was destroyed by bushfires early in 2020. It is great to be involved in a program and project that is giving back to the community. Details of our next program and intake will be available on our website in late October 2020. Please visit here on a regular basis for details of the Annual FNBL Awards Program, this year an on-line event. 


FutureNet in NSW 

The FutureNet Sydney and Newcastle Committees have proven their resilience during uncertain times. At the beginning of this year two keen committees had mapped out professional development and networking events until the end of this year that unfortunately had to be changed. In May FutureNet Sydney ran a successful online event on the Future of Work and recently both committees collaborated to host a great event named Chance to Chat enabling registered young professionals to hear from industry leaders on their career paths. Work continues for events for the remainder of the year and your support is very much appreciated.  If you are interested in joining FutureNet Sydney or Newcastle please email


CBUS delivers a positive result despite a challenging year and link the attached

In this year alone, we’ve experienced devastating bushfires in Australia and a global pandemic that caused unprecedented share market movements. 

Despite the conditions, Cbus’ Growth (Cbus My Super) was able to deliver a positive result for the 2019/20 Financial Year of 0.75%*. 

The longer term 5 and 10-year returns were 7.13% and 8.54% respectively, an important reminder that super is a long term investment. 

Looking ahead, the construction and building industry will play a major role in what will be a long, nation-building recovery. Cbus is determined to play our part by investing our members’ savings back into the industry, creating jobs and contributing to a stronger economy. 

Read the full investment update from Cbus’ Chief Investment Officer, Kristian Fok. 

This update was brought to you by Cbus, the industry super fund for building, construction and allied industries. 

This information is about Cbus and doesn’t take into account your specific needs. You should look at your own financial position, objectives and requirements before making any financial decisions. Read the relevant Cbus Product Disclosure Statement to decide if Cbus is right for you. Call 1300 361 784 or visit for a copy.

*Cbus’ crediting rate is based on returns minus investment fees, taxes, and until 31 January 2020, the percentage- based administration fee. Excludes fees and costs that are deducted directly from members’ accounts. Past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance.

Cbus' Trustee: United Super Pty Ltd ABN 46 006 261 623 ASFL 233792 Cbus ABN 75 493 363 262


FutureNet Sponsorship

Sponsorship packages for FutureNet Sydney and Newcastle are now available by contacting These packages enable the young professionals in your organisation to be involved and attend events whilst promoting your company at the same time. If your young professionals are attending FutureNet events you may get additional value through sponsorship.

Would you like to Advertise in this Newsletter or hear about other forms of sponsorship to promote your business if so contact

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