14 August 2018 – The Infrastructure Association of Queensland last week released its July 2018 Spotlight Survey revealing confidence within the infrastructure sector is improving.
The survey of industry players from across the sector showed business sentiment has jumped in the first half of 2018 with more than two-thirds of respondents expecting to see increased levels of activity in the coming six-month period driven by state and federal projects.
Looking back at the first half of 2018, more than 54 per cent of respondents reported increases or significant increases in sales compared to the last half of 2017. Overall, the Queensland sector is creating more jobs with 46 per cent of respondents increasing employment levels this year and 35 per cent maintaining them at around the same amount as 2017.
Despite the positive results so far, due in large part to the rise in public investment, when asked what the critical constraints to business growth are, 50 per cent of respondent pointed to the current levels of state and federal government expenditure and political stability. The report suggests industry wants to see considered reform of the National Partnership Agreement with 56 per cent of respondents agreeing that the policy needs work to avoid funding shortfalls that erode confidence and drag out projects.
For those in the sector seeing things on the up, such confidence is also driving a further surge in employment with almost 50 per cent of respondents indicating they will be bringing on more people in the next six months, though the report does not clarify on what basis this will be. And in what appears to be an effort to offset the constraining issue of access to skilled labour, 82 per cent of respondents reported that they are investing in upskilling their employees.
A closer working relationship between industry and government also ranked highly with respondents with more than 80 per cent calling for a similar approach to the NSW Government’s 10-point Commitment to the Construction Sector which recognises that the NSW Government can only achieve its infrastructure objectives in partnership with the private sector by taking a longer-term view.
Read the full IAQ report here.