29 Jul 2016

AIPM voices concerns around new cabinet titles

Industry News, AIPM News

The Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) today welcomed the re-appointment of Darren Chester as Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, and of Paul Fletcher as the Minister for Urban Infrastructure.  

“AIPM congratulates Ministers Chester and Fletcher and we look forward to working with them to drive improvement in the delivery of infrastructure projects across Australia,” said Yvonne Butler, CEO of AIPM. “Both Ministers are experienced in the portfolios and understand the significant economic and social contribution of infrastructure.
“AIPM joins with other professional bodies to highlight the criticality of the Ministers prioritising Infrastructure Australia’s 15-Year Plan, which sets out a long term blueprint to ensure Australia’s infrastructure can deal with future challenges. We are currently working closely with Infrastructure Australia and will be pleased to support the realisation of the plan.

AIPM notes with some concern the title change for Minister Fletcher from Minister for Major Projects Territories and Local Government to his new title.  Prime Minister Turnbull has said that the new title was a way of “clarifying” Fletcher’s role in delivering a major raft of infrastructure projects in urban areas across Australia.

Ms Butler said that the explicit focus on delivery of these major projects should not be under-estimated.  “Too many projects in Australia still fail to deliver the required value and benefits anticipated in business cases. This is in no small part due to the fact that there is insufficient focus on the governance of the projects and the effective utilisation of project managers who have been certified as competent by the peak body to actually deliver the projects.”  AIPM cites the PwC report that found approximately 80% of projects classified as high performing use a certified project manager (PWC: Insights and Trends: Current Programme and Project Management Practices 2012. S)

“AIPM encourages the Federal Government to support the hiring and contracting of independently assessed project managers to help improve the performance of projects, especially major infrastructure projects.” MS Butler went on to say. “We estimate that these projects and the project managers who deliver them contribute in excess of 30% of Australia’s GDP.  We must be relentless in safeguarding that policy implementation and social outcomes are delivered as efficiently and effectively as possible and Government leadership in this area is critical.

Ms Butler also noted that approximately 10% of the Australian workforce is involved in project management and that the opportunities for jobs in the public and private sectors over the coming years will be enormous, especially given the government focus on infrastructure.

“Further we would encourage the Government to ensure that the infrastructure projects that sit across the portfolios of Ministers Chester and Fletcher are managed in an integrated manner, as all portfolios should be.  The interrelationships and interdependencies must be carefully planned and understood, as should the risks and opportunities inherent in each project and across programs.”