Professionals Australia welcomes the release of the 2021 Australian Infrastructure Plan | Infrastructure Australia.
The plan provides a practical roadmap for infrastructure reform across Australia and will help support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the bushfires, drought, floods and cyber-attacks that have also had a dramatic impact on Australian communities. It seeks to do this by fostering collaboration between governments, industry and community to unlock the potential of every place and region across Australia; embed sustainability and resilience into infrastructure decision-making; and drive a step change in industry productivity and innovation.
We particularly welcome the plan’s acknowledgement that reforms are required to ensure that infrastructure becomes an industry of choice for employees. We also applaud the plan’s recognition that cultural reforms to embrace diversity and inclusion are required to encourage greater workforce attraction and retention, innovation and productivity.
We believe that further employment reforms are required in the sector, including policies to develop and maintain a highly skilled workforce across both the private and public sectors to ensure that governments are informed purchasers of infrastructure. Engineers must be involved in the decision-making processes to ensure a better infrastructure pipeline and mandatory graduate employment programs for technical professionals.
Professionals Australia is very disappointed that we have not been identified as an important stakeholder and agent for change in the plan and we will be seeking engagement with Infrastructure Australia to discuss the implementation of the plan and the issues that matter most to our members.