Hot on the heels of a similar document developed for Queensland, Cement Concrete Aggregates Australia (CCAA) has published A strong foundation for New South Wales’ future, a summary of recommended policy priorities that support the growth of the state’s quarry and construction materials industry.
While the document’s Queensland counterpart was directed towards a newly inducted state government, the new policy priorities have been published ahead of the NSW state election that will take place on 28 March, 2015.
“The election has provided CCAA with a platform to collate and express the main policy priorities of the industry to ensure we can continue to access and supply quality and affordable construction materials to construct the infrastructure that is the foundation of a modern economy,” CCAA NSW and South Australia state director Todd Hacking explained.
Key reforms recommended in the document included:
• Identifying key resources areas to protect them from incompatible land use.
• Conducting a comprehensive study of current and future sources of heavy construction materials.
• Strategic planning to protect quarry and other construction material processing facilities from urban encroachment.
• Increasing funding and grants to local governments to ensure road networks are adequately maintained.
Hacking said that while all the policy priorities listed in the document were important, he particularly wanted to emphasise the need for greater recognition of the significant role construction materials play in building infrastructure.
“The uniqueness of the industry requires a holistic government approach to reduce the [regulatory] complexity, and red and green tape, particularly as it relates to the planning and approvals system, and the duplication of environmental reporting, which is currently choking the industry,” he said.
According to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, Sydney’s population will increase by 1.6 million within the next 15 years, which will spur the construction of 664,300 homes by 2031.
“The NSW Government is a major consumer of construction materials and also has a financial stake in funding state significant infrastructure. It is important taxpayers get value for money,” Hacking stated.
“By adopting the reforms advocated by CCAA, the government will have improved the productivity of construction materials supply and eased the regulatory burden, which will place downward pressure on prices and stimulate jobs, economic growth and innovation in the sector.”
CCAA represents more than 30 NSW companies involved in the extraction and processing of raw materials and the supply of cement and concrete. CCAA’s NSW members extract approximately 35 million tonnes of aggregates per year and produce about 7 million m3 of concrete.
The full document is available at www.ccaa.com.au