09 Jun 2020

Project Managers Will Play an Important Part in our Recovery

Project Managers Will Play an Important Part in our Recovery

Governments all around Australia are prioritising and fast-tracking major infrastructure projects to assist in driving our economic recovery, as we start to contain the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis. In NSW alone the state government expects its Planning System Acceleration Program to create 30,000 construction jobs in the next six months.

Project Managers will play a critical role in the effective establishment and execution of these projects. Here at the Australian Institute of Project Management, we are actively urging both the federal and state governments to call on specialist project managers with the qualifications and experience required to ensure projects that are brought forward do not suffer from cost blow-outs or unnecessary delays.
 
AIPM CEO Elizabeth Foley, explains “while money needs to be spent on projects that will boost the economy, at the same time we want to ensure that the money is spent efficiently." Read our full press release here.
 

PROJECTS FAST-TRACKED

The federal and all state governments have infrastructure acceleration programs and plans in place. Here’s a quick summary of some of the programs.
 
NSW recently announced it is accelerating the assessment of 24 key projects, through the new Planning System Acceleration Program with a view to creating an extra 9,500 jobs and inject a further $7.5 billion into the state economy. And the Transport Minister has flagged a second wave of mega transport projects adding to the list of current projects already underway or fast tracked.
 
Victoria has established the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce with a remit to “provide real-time advice to Government on issues impacting the industry, helping to remove barriers to building and development works, vital for supporting Victorian jobs, housing and infrastructure.” Also, Premier Daniel Andrews announced a $2.7 billion construction program, that includes upgrades to schools, public housing and transport. The projects were targeted because they can commence quickly and stimulate the economy.

The Federal and Queensland Governments have agreed to bring forward 22 construction and upgrade works in their Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative pipeline valued at $185 million. Western Australia is streamlining its construction contract approval processes in order to expedite $140 million of road and maritime projects and is in the process of finalising more major road projects as part of a $2.37 billion program.

All states and the Federal Government have programs to either fast-track or start new projects. Check out these links to find out what’s going on in Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory and federally.

 

PROJECT MANAGEMENT EXPERTISE IS ESSENTIAL

The AIPM is actively advocating on behalf of project professionals to ensure that the expertise of project management professionals is embedded into these shovel ready projects. Our goal is to assist in making sure governments and other organisations can deliver these projects to a high standard and - crucially in this environment – on budget. We are communicating directly with governments offering:

  • to work alongside organisations to ensure projects have adequate countermeasures that will discourage short cuts being undertaken;

  • provide independent and strategic advice to help support projects and ensure they are delivered to a high standard; and

  • work with employees, contractors, and managers to equip them with the skills needed to meet the challenging needs of a project.

Project management professionals have long provided support and expertise in the face of both natural disasters and economic crises playing key roles in post-disaster project management responses.

We believe that the fast-tracking of so many large-scale projects, will drive demand for properly qualified project management professionals around the country. Large scale infrastructure projects are one of the fastest and most tangible ways to drive jobs growth and capital investment into the economy.

The AIPM is urging governments to call on specialist project managers that have both the qualifications and experience behind them to ensure the projects that are brought forward are delivered successfully. “When we see these “shovel-ready” projects accelerated there needs to be standards and controls in place with competent project managers employed’ states Ms Foley.

If you are looking to participate – take the time to research projects in each state and find those that are a good match for your skills. Making sure you are a certified project management professional is a good way to help you stand out from the crowd in what, no doubt, will be a competitive employment market. These projects, by their nature are long term ventures – so if there are areas of interest where you need to beef up your skills – there’s still time.

Networking is critical right now – so take advantage of the AIPM Member Community to learn about opportunities, seek referrals or advice. This is a challenging time for all – but it’s good to know that project management professionals will play a key role in our road back.
 
 
 
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