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10 South Australian projects that could boost civil construction

The Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) of South Australia has outlined 10 ‘action-now’ projects it thinks could simulate the sector.

CCF, which comprises of 600 company members, have outlined its concerns around funding and projects ahead of the South Australian Budget on Tuesday 18 June.

CCF Chief Executive Phil Sutherland said the South Australian economy is slowing and major infrastructure projects are entering final stages.

“Of the 30 odd projects funded in the 2018 state or federal budgets, only a handful were shovel ready and only a few have reached the construction phase,” he said.

“Not one new road has commenced construction during the life of this state government.”

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Sutherland said while there is up to $14 billion in projects earmarked for funding in the 2018 state and federal budgets, the major construction agency of the SA Government appears to have capacity and expertise constraints resulting in projects coming to market at a very slow rate.

The federation is calling for an industry or government task force to be established to consider methods of accelerating civil construction projects to the market.

Sutherland said there are long lead times in the planning and design phase of most civil construction contracts which can be two or more years.

The federation suggests government could create more projects for companies of all sizes by disaggregating potentially large projects.

Sutherland said the government must not bundle work into larger contracts which are only attractive to very large interstate and overseas contractors.

The ten ‘action now’ project opportunities the federation have identified are:

  • Statewide road maintenance program, as there is an estimated road maintenance backlog of up to $800 million.
  • Rolling statewide railway level crossing upgrade program. There are 350 crossings in SA and many are subject to fatalities and casualties regularly.
  • Duplication of the Augusta Highway between Pt Wakefield and Pt Augusta with 8000 vehicle movements a day. The $1.2 billion road project would result in the creation of 200 jobs in the construction phase, state and regional economic stimulus, a safer road, increased tourism, more productive and timely freight movement.
  • Give every council in SA (68 councils) $3 million to spend on local infrastructure projects using local goods, services and materials, employing local people and using local businesses.
  • Re-establish the metropolitan Adelaide tram system. As trams relieve traffic congestion and generate economic development.
  • Build a third generation battery powered light rail/tram as a commuter tram between the Adelaide Airport along Sir Donald Bradman Drive up into Victoria Square (and connect to the tram lines at that location).
  • Complete the north-south corridor.
  • Undertake a statewide water and sewerage pipe replacement program. Many parts of the system are more than 100 years old, comprising of asbestos cement and terracotta pipes that fail.
  • Undertake a statewide power line undergrounding program.
  • Undertake a statewide bridge replacement program.

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