WA Chapter Presidents Message

Three weeks in to isolation, and life is tuning to a whole new rhythm. I get different reports from various colleagues, some are coping well, and some are struggling. It’s now no doubt that many projects are being put on hold, or at least, the urgency has gone out of the market, as clients step back to assess. Zoom meetings are turning out to be a real time saver, as is not travelling to and fro to work. Large teams are finding it more difficult.

There has been a flurry of discussion re existing contracts, particularly in relationship to time. There is some great information on our web page to do with this, force majeure or otherwise, and also discussion on how to approach new contracts. If anyone has specific queries, I suggest calling our team and we can steer you in the right direction.

The government, at both state and national levels, are doing an extraordinary job, and have undoubtedly given hope to many practices in terms of keeping staff on. If you haven’t already, avail yourself to the help available, and register for Job Keeper. For those who aren’t immediately eligible, things may change, so best to be registered.

In terms of advocacy, we are focusing on maintaining construction as an essential service, and encouraging government to set fees on government projects to prevent desperate fee bidding. Similarly, it was great to see Minister Saffioti write to local authorities instructing them to take the handbrake off any shovel ready project. Coming out of this- stimulus will be construction lead, and we are advocating for this around social housing, public transport, education and health.

The awards program, has been pushed back but definitely not abandoned. We are working at a National level to ensure the most equitable judging system is implemented, with the offer for any entrant to simply withdraw and re-enter next year. We are confident, that one way or the other, we will be able to put together a pretty stunning awards season.

We are Introducing a weekly online state survey(below), being distributed nationally, to check in and see what is happening out there. Please participate- the more feedback, the more targeted we can be.

And most importantly, keep chatting, stay fit, take up an instrument or a language that you’ve been putting off. If anyone needs some specific advice or a shoulder of some sort-there are many ready to help.

Stay well.

Warm Regards,

Peter Hobbs
Western Australia President