Australia should have a national construction supply chain strategy to increase sovereign capacity and ensure the ready availability of high-quality, low-carbon construction materials.
The nation’s peak body for architects and the built environment, the Australian Institute of Architects, has called a permanent roster for the national and state Building Minister’s Meeting to enable effective policy progress for construction and building issues.
The Institute’s National President Tony Giannone said a national construction supply chain strategy would focus on increasing Australia’s capacity to manufacture high-quality and sustainable building materials, components and fittings.
“Having greater control over the quality of our building products will provide better confidence for industry and consumers,” he said.
“We’ve all seen the pitfalls of relying so heavily on international suppliers, such as our current materials shortages, and the previous safety risks with products such as flammable cladding.
“With better local manufacturing capacity and government oversight, Australia can be a world leader in the development and manufacture of sustainable products. This will help to accelerate our vital transition to a low-carbon industry, while reducing our reliance on international products.”
The Institute’s Federal Election Policy Statement A Time For Action, calls for the next Australian Government to establish nationally consistent supply chain laws that include product testing and certification and address modern slavery, child labour and the displacement of communities around the world.
The proposed national construction supply chain strategy would be overseen by an elevated Building Minister’s Meeting, which would also track the progress of the Building Confidence Report and review sector contract terms and insurances.
Mr Giannone said industry required greater assurance about building product quality and standards.
“Design and building practitioners are under constant pressure to deliver building cheaper and faster, while bearing a disproportionate risk under contract terms,” he said. “Rising insurance premiums and exclusions are threatening many local businesses.
“These are issues that must be addressed by the next Australian Government.”
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Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
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