Engineering a Better Future is a campaign about better recognising and respecting the work that engineers do and lifting the standing of the profession through specific reforms in the workplace and in terms of government policy.
Why we started this campaign?
We are seeing the increased infrastructure needs of a growing population! We need government and the private sector to allocate more time and resources Innovation, investment into engineering to match this increase and growth to safeguard the future of our community.
This campaign was started by ideas of engineers like you. These ideas are all centred around changing the profession for the better.
You are key drivers of our future – building cities and driving Australia’s economy. Your work is little understood and little valued, and this campaign aims to change that.
With the Federal election on Saturday May 18, we encourage you to evaluate the policies of each of the major parties before casting your vote.
Infrastructure in the Federal Budget 2019-20
In our analysis of the budget announcement, infrastructure in appeared to be the winner. It was announced $100 billion will be spent over 10 years. Worryingly, only $29.5 billion of this spend happens in the four years covered by estimates.
This makes it difficult to assess whether the proposed spend is either new budget commitments or reallocation of current funding.
For example, in Victoria, the Budget pledged $3 billion to the East-West Link. This is a project that the Victorian Government has categorically ruled out. Projects like these are a state responsibility and it’s disappointing to the funding has not been allocated appropriately.
Several funded projects like the East-West link are certain not to go ahead in their current form. When allocating the spend, the Federal government would have been wholly aware of this.
We welcome any initiatives to encourage a longer-term view of infrastructure management. However, we remain cautious that much of this funding is beyond the forward estimates and well beyond the election cycle and may never materialise.
What is the campaign trying to fix?
When engineering decisions are made without expert engineering advice, the quality of work is diminished. This puts the safety of communities at risk.
Engineers should have more influence over big issues and have a place at the decision-making table.
When funding is inappropriately allocated, it shows that government has no clear plan to lift the standing of the profession.
If businesses are to be encouraged to invest in their engineers, they need a strong commitment to real projects and real timelines.
Some issues that need to be tackled include:
- Non-engineers calling themselves engineers in most states and territories.
- Relying on non-engineers in project management & decision-making
- Engineering advice being taken lightly or ignored all together
With $100 billion announced for infrastructure across the country, it’s important that government and the private sector have a plan and the tools to ensure these projects are delivered on-time and on-budget.
What’s happening now?
Registration is the first step to ensuring a better future for the profession. The point of registration is to make sure qualified engineers are doing the engineering work. If you aren’t registered, you will be unable to work unsupervised.
Engineers in Queensland are required to be registered. A scheme isn’t far away in Victoria and both sides of parliament in New South Wales are now calling for registration.
It provides the public with peace of mind that qualified engineers are making engineering decisions. Not only on government projects but through all aspects on engineering.