Government delays and red tape are slowing Tasmania’s economic recovery, a construction group says.
The Civil Contractors Federation Tasmania is urging cuts to red tape, saying it is the biggest obstacle to growth in the sector.
“Tasmania’s civil construction sector has welcomed the state government’s commitment to stimulating the economy with infrastructure projects,” chief executive Rachael Matheson said.
“We’re willing and able to play our part in this rebuild, but are seeking further support in terms of cutting red tape and delays to help take the brakes off and deliver the greatest benefit to Tasmania.
“Reducing red tape will allow our contractors the confidence to employ more people and get the work done as efficiently as possible, which is more important than ever in the current climate.
“The economic impact of COVID-19 will be felt for years to come.
“It’s vital initial stimulus projects are also followed by a consistent and unimpeded longer-term pipeline of works and supported by measures to fast-track their delivery.”
The federation said 90 per cent of respondents to a member survey expected turnover to remain stable or increase in 2020-21 and 40 per cent predicted they would employ more workers in the next three months.
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Seventy per cent said government delay was a major constraint.
State Growth Minister Michael Ferguson said the government was continuing to remove red tape barriers and over-regulation to support Tasmanian businesses.
“In March, the Premier announced the government would introduce legislative timeframes for the permit process for energy, water, and sewerage services,” he said.
“In line with that commitment, the Building and Construction (Regulatory Reform Amendments) Act 2020 received royal assent in early July.
“The government is currently working with stakeholders on the regulations to support the Act … with a view to tabling them in parliament in the next two months.
“A second tranche of red tape reforms is being drafted, which is also expected to be introduced to Parliament in the coming months.
“Further initiatives to assist the broader building and construction sectors are also planned for 2021.”
Ms Matheson said maintaining momentum and confidence in the civil construction industry was vital to economic recovery.
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