Victoria Report - August 2010
I am happy to report that work on the Toolkit for Contractors will greatly assist in addressing our future needs and that work is well advanced. The advisory development leader was scheduled to deliver the final report at CCF’s 2010 Conference on July 21 at Etihad Stadium.
The toolkit includes a code of behaviour for CCF members; advice on types of contractual relationships; guides for the following: effective collaboration; protecting contractor interests in contract negotiations; understanding risks from a contractor’s perspective; resolution of contractual issues; a benchmark framework for CCF members, and a training program for contract managers.
The toolkit provides a framework for establishing strong client/stakeholder relationships and identifying and facilitating effective, collaborative project delivery systems and resources. These tools when used in conjunction with the Best Practice Guide to Procurement should yield optimum outcomes for the procurement process.
CCF undertook a survey titled The Civil Contractor as a Banker. The purpose was to gauge the financial burden on the civil contractor and actual costs associated with sureties, retentions and payment cycles. We are attempting to determine the financial risk and the issue of equity of that risk. There were some 60 responses and thank you to all of those that responded.
The preliminary results have simply staggered all of us here at CCF. I was staggered at the first set of results and following a check on the figures I have revised these, but they still continue to be staggering:
- Sureties lodged total some $200m.
- Retention on payments is some $154m.
- Average payment period is 61 days.
It should be noted that in the 61 day period, with member turnover of $3.1bn annually, some $516m of works has been put on the ground by CCF members.
Given also that the contractor is required to achieve significant levels of quality accreditation to be granted pre-qualification status and that contract specifications contain liquidated damage provisions, the need for the surety and retention needs to be seriously questioned.
Members will also see that we are undertaking another survey asking you to advise on the cost of preparing tenders. This has been a significant issue for some time. Anecdotally the suggestion is around 1% of turnover and for CCF members this is around $30m, again a significant amount.
As part of the 2010/11 financial year, CCF will be looking at specific projects in the following areas:
- Procurement model toolkit & pilot program;
- Database of capital works across state & local government;
- Benchmarking pilot;
- Financial payments to contractors project; and
- Leadership program.
We are working with the Department of Planning and Community Development to standardise specifications and drawings across local municipalities and while it will be a challenge, there are a number of determined people at the table. I would value greatly any support you can give by mentioning its importance within your respective networks, to encourage this project to be successful.
Clean fill disposal
There are some websites available to help you manage clean fill soil, for disposal or wanted. As use of these sites increases the more useful they will be. Go to the CCF Vic Environment page and click on “Clean Fill” to find the website links. http://www.civilcontractors.com/victoria/environment/
Election of branch officers, board members
As notified in last month’s magazine, the timetable for the annual branch elections is as follows:
Nominations opened on June 30 and closed on July 21. The ballot opens on Wednesday August 11 and closes on September 1 at 9am.
Contaminated soil management
A new EPA document provides a matrix of current soil remediation technologies available in Victoria. It is intended as a resource for site owners, developers, portfolio managers and consultants.
It presumes that contaminated soil has been categorised into one of the contaminated soil hazard categories of A, B or C, according to the Environment Protection (Industrial Waste Resource) Regulations 2009, and that the type and volume of contamination are known. To find and view this document enter www.civilcontractors.com/victoria/environment/proceduresguidelines/
DSE: statewide providers panel
The Department of Sustainable Environment is now seeking expressions of interest from contractors wishing to join a statewide panel of providers for the hire of plant and plant operators for fire related and general civil works.
The new panel will replace three existing regionally based panels and will be supported with an ongoing standing offer contract. The types of works required include fire prevention and suppression as well as civil works such as roading, drainage, minor bridges or crossing works, vegetation management and silviculture. The types of plant regularly called upon for this contract will include bulldozers, excavators, tractors, graders, loaders and skidders.
Funding certainty for services
Public transport and other vital infrastructure in growth areas benefited from a dedicated $2.4bn funding stream, with legislation to introduce the Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution
(GAIC) passing through the Legislative Council. Planning Minister Justin Madden said it was essential to have a plan for funding community infrastructure before considering any extension to the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). "We have always said that it would be irresponsible to open up new land for development without first securing the revenue to pay for the necessary infrastructure over the life of the development," Madden said.
Free government clearing house
The Federal government has announced that eligible small businesses are now able register to use the Government's Small Business Superannuation Clearing House. The service was due to start on 1 July 2010.
It will be run by Medicare and is a free service for businesses with fewer than 20 staff. It will allow employers to pay their employee’s super to a single location and in one electronic transaction. They will then send the contributions to the appropriate superannuation fund.
To find out more, or to register visit www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/super
2010 CCF Victoria Annual Gala Ball
Keep your diary free. Kobelco, CNH Australia & Construction Equipment Australia
are sponsors of the 2010 CCF Gala Ball.
Consultative arrangements help
One of the requirements under modern awards is that employers consult with employees and their representatives on matters which affect them. There is also a legal requirement to consult with employees on OH&S matters. A couple of ways in which employers can deal with these obligations is to build them into existing team meeting structures or to implement a consultative committee as a central consultation forum.
There are benefits in doing so in that you can tap into new ideas from employees, fix problems before they become issues and often keep important people whom you otherwise might have lost due to misunderstandings.
CCF's Workplace Relations Advisors can assist in the design and implementation of consultative arrangements - for further information. Contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311.
Modern awards alert
Further to previous news items, members are reminded that a new set of 10 National Employment Standards and a new set of 122 Modern Awards took effect from 1 January 2010 and apply nationally.
Congratulations to Tim Lowe and Nicholas Huntsman, winners of the Monash University 2010 Outstanding Student in Civil Engineering Construction award. CCF continues to recognize the efforts of students in the civil construction field, with these engineering award winners receiving the CCF Ian Jacka Scholarship prize.
CCF thanks members for continuing to support the skills development of civil construction and engineering students in offering work placements throughout the year. Members will have an opportunity to meet these engineering student prize winners at the 2010 Presidents Lunch to be held 19th November.
Weekly Top Stories
- Sandvik appoints new dealer in Western Australia
- Porter Hire powers into heavy machinery market
- TMH apprentice wins Toyota study trip to Japan
- Australian manufacturer recognised internationally
- Transforming Sydney: the ‘Big Six’
- TBMs leave a Legacy of fast tunnelling
- Confused about UHF radio licences?
- Komatsu donates equipment for apprentice training
- Driverless trains for Sydney
- 6th Annual SA Major Projects Conference 2013
- Red tape cut to pave way for major projects
- Import costs can surprise
- 1,900 equipment items in unreserved auctions
- Trimble acquires Actronic Technologies