Australia’s peak employer body representing the Civil Construction industry has commended the Federal Government’s commitment to embrace the ‘good debt’ policy to fund an expanded Australian infrastructure investment program.
Civil Contractors Federation National CEO Chris Melham said he welcomed the recent announcements by Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison, and Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher that good debt will be used to help fund productive and critical rail, port and road infrastructure in Australia.
“Many economic commentators, including the current and previous Reserve Bank Governors, have proposed a debt-funded infrastructure push as the most effective way for the Federal Government to stimulate Australia’s weakening economy. This is also the official policy position of the Civil Contractors Federation,” Mr Melham said.
“This is great news by the Federal Government. The Treasurer is on the money when he says that the productive infrastructure assets will generate an income stream that’s going to pay for itself”, Melham said.
“With Australia’s economy shrinking, and with interest rates low, the time to act is now. The Government can still borrow at well under 3%, significantly less than the expected return on productive infrastructure, so why would you delay?
“The CCF is calling for a new phase of productive public infrastructure investment by taking advantage of low interest rates, lower industry costs, shovel-ready projects with proven productivity benefits initially, and then on maintaining a rolling, long term infrastructure investment program that provides industry confidence and certainty”, Melham said.
“In February this year, the Civil Contractors Federation launched its official Australian Infrastructure funding policy that is consistent with the Federal Government’s recent announcements. I would also like to acknowledge the Shadow Infrastructure Minister, Anthony Albanese who has also been a strong advocate for the ‘good debt’ policy for many years.
Melham has now urged both side of Politics to work together and commit to a bipartisan approach to Australian Public Infrastructure investment and work with industry to depoliticise the agenda.
For further information:
Mr Chris Melham
Chief Executive Officer (National)
Telephone: (02) 6273 8312