Roads decision sends wrong message to business about risks of investing in WA

CCIWA CEO

Chris Rodwell 

The decision by the State Government to shift 600 maintenance jobs from the private sector into the state bureaucracy, sends the wrong message to businesses around the risks of investing in our State.

CCIWA expects the decision will have long-term impacts. It could potentially lead to taxpayers bearing higher costs for road maintenance, reduce the quality of our roads, negatively impact innovation in the sector and undermine the confidence of contractors to bid for state government contracts in WA.

To date, CCIWA has not received the modelling to justify the decision. It is critical the State Government release it as soon as possible, so that West Australians have the opportunity to understand and stress test the assumptions. It’s otherwise unclear how the decision can arrive at a $25 million saving, when labour and training costs are higher.

The decision also effectively puts the State Government in competition with local businesses, with the public service likely buying or renting plant and equipment from the very operators whose jobs and contracts they have appropriated, at a time of major supply chain disruption.

The pursuit of social objectives, like increasing the availability of government jobs and contracts in the regions, can be pursued in partnership with industry. The private sector often leads governments on issues like local training, Indigenous engagement and employment, and developing opportunities to take part in project supply chains.

This decision continues the trend of shifting private sector jobs into the bureaucracy, whether at Fiona Stanley Hospital, Water Corporation, Main Roads or St John Ambulance. Businesses that tender for government contracts in other areas of the economy will be wondering if they will be next.

Share This Post

You may also be interested in

Naval shipbuilding a gamechanger for WA’s defence industry
Naval shipbuilding a gamechanger for WA’s defence industry
The Federal Government’s commitment to ensure continuous shipbuilding in Western Australia, as part of its response to the Naval Surface Fleet Review, recognises the fundamental...
Read more »
Huge opportunity for WA businesses to step up on employing people with disabilities
Huge opportunity for WA businesses to step up on employing people with disabilities
WA has made little progress in closing the employment gap faced by people living with disabilities, despite strong evidence that doing so is good for...
Read more »
Joint statement from the CEOs of Australia’s chambers on Industrial Relations
Joint statement from the CEOs of Australia’s chambers on Industrial Relations
On behalf of business operators across Australia, we urge the Senate to carefully reconsider the implications of this rushed and flawed industrial relations legislation. The...
Read more »