NATIONAL BUILDING & JOBS PLAN
The Special Council of Australian Government (COAG) met with the Prime Minister, Premiers and Treasurers in Canberra on February 5th to ensure a rapid delivery on economic stimulus measures to support employment and growth to foster a more resilient Australia.
A centerpiece of the Commonwealth Governmentís response to the global economic downturn is a $42 billion National Building and Jobs Plan, released on 3rd of February. The plan includes $21.5 billion to the States for education, social housing, road and rail infrastructure. An additional $500 million is to be provided to Local Government for community infrastructure. Leaders agreed that this additional economic stimulus package needed to flow quickly through rapid implementation of the plan.
The full Communique can be found on http://www.pm.gov.au/media/Release/2009/media_release_0784.cfm .
For Tasmania, there will be an immediate allocation of funding for capital works and improvement of schools, with an allocation of $350million. Under round one, construction must start no later than June 2009, round two July-August and round three must start by 1 December 2009.
I have met with officials from the Department of Education who have advised that there will be an immediate allocation of a number of consultancy projects. Although still in the early stages of planning, initial indications are that this represents about 30 projects for round one, and 60 projects each for rounds two and three.
Projects range from minor refurbishment, addressing disability access, general amenity, thermal performance, and maintenance, right through to new building types, including as a priority for general purpose halls, libraries and science facilities up to about $3 million depending upon the size of the school.
I have put to the Department of Education that the time frame is very short and that it may be necessary for the quantum of project value as part of prequalification of consultants to government to be automatically lifted from $1 million to $2 million.
If you are not registered for prequalification with the Government, I suggest that it is in your best interest to initiate this process immediately.
I have also advised the Department of Education that the larger projects may be best suited toward the later rounds if possible to allow proper lead times, and for the building industry to respond accordingly.
There are also a number of senior project officer positions to be advertised by the Department of Education to support the roll-out of the Commonwealth Government's Stimulus Package, in the North, the North-West and in the South for a period of 12 months initially. The positions are likely to be advertised in this Saturday's Mercury, Examiner and Advocate. For further information contact Catherine Parker, Manager Capital Planning and Development. Department of Education Tasmania (phone 6233 5093) or email email@example.com .
Other matters that will need to be considered include the state of master planning for each school, to give a maximum benefit to each campus, as well as the need for direct consultant and building contractor appointment if required.
Other sectors including social and affordable housing, metropolitan planning, energy efficiency of homes, and infrastructure may also attract substantial funding and require input from the architectural and other built environment design professions.
Notwithstanding the tight time frames, this is a very positive initiative and Chapter Council at its meeting this week fully endorsed the proposal.
Education Facility Planning Forum
Jointly arranged by Catholic Education and CEFPI, this seminar will be held at the recently completed Huntingfield campus of St Aloysius Catholic College. It commences with a free cocktail party at 6pm on Friday 13th March sponsored by Danihers and all architects are invited to attend. The Forum will be conducted the next day at the College campus and targets Educators / Architects and Education Administrators with a view to providing a contemporary briefing on the current issues in relation to facility planning and sustainability in education. It is particularly timely given the recent announcement of the Federal Governmentís economic stimulus package as it relates to Building the Education Revolution (BER). One optional segment of the program will be dedicated for the Tasmanian Catholic Education System. This session will focus on matters pertinent to the planning & delivery of projects in Tasmanian Catholic schools.
Click here for more information. Register your interest by contacting Ann Daley; Manger Directorate & Planning at the Catholic Education Office (03) 6210 8836 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .