News & Views

27th August 2020

NECA supports RBA calls for states to supercharge infrastructure spending

25 Aug 2020


The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) welcomed the Reserve Bank of Australia’s request for states to commit another $40 billion to major projects over the next two years, after NECA called for similar measures in its Pre-Budget Submission.

RBA governor Phillip Lowe urged premiers to increase infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy.  The comments align with the findings of NECA’s COVID-19 Industry Impact Survey in which 70% of respondents said investment in infrastructure and construction is required to stimulate the economy.

To unlock infrastructure and supercharge business, in its Pre-Budget Submission, NECA proposed:

That all levels of Government unlock and fast track medium to large scale renewal and infrastructure projects that will significantly boost jobs in the building and construction sector, productivity and investment across Australia.

This will also require significant systemic reform of longstanding policy issues including taxation reform, reducing red tape, removing institutional roadblocks such as simplifying and streamlining planning systems, improving Government coordination and increasing collaboration with financial institutions.

To deliver value-for-money the Government should be looking to leverage private sector infrastructure investment. Wherever possible, the private sector should be engaged to finance, construct, operate and maintain infrastructure assets. Where this creates issues with local monopolies, a light-handed approach to regulation should be applied.

Any regulation should aim to maximise efficiency and competition whilst diminishing the exercise of any market power. NECA seeks for all levels of Government to identify, prioritise and commence ‘shovelready’ major infrastructure and renewal opportunities to restore the economy, and these are most suited towards medium and large-scale businesses.

The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) is the peak industry body for Australia’s electrical and communications contracting industry, which employs more than 165,000 workers and delivers an annual turnover in excess of $23 billion. It represents the interests of over 5,200 electrical contracting businesses across all Australian States and Territories.

NECA’s Pre-Budget Submission, which outlines a series of policy measures that would stimulate the economy, support business and protect jobs, can be seen here.

NECA’s Industry Impact Survey, which provides insights into the impact of COVID, can be seen here.


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