18 February 2013 – Consult Australia’s chief executive officer Megan Motto has called on the Federal Government to establish an innovation precinct to foster the role of built environment consultants in the newly announced A Plan for Australian Jobs, released by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the weekend.
Ms Motto said it was critical that the built environment consulting industry be a key part of the policy designed to stimulate innovation in small and medium businesses.
The industry had 240,000 employees and forecast revenue of $40.5 billion by 2014-15, Ms Motto said.
“This would mark a welcome and necessary step towards giving due recognition to the vital role the industry plays in Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness.”
Consult Australia has applauded the additional support that smaller and medium sized firms will receive from A Plan for Australian jobs.
“Half of our industry is made up of sole practitioners and of the remainder, 93 per cent are small firms, so any support for these businesses to participate in major projects is a welcome initiative,” Ms Motto said.
Ms Motto also said the appointment of former Worley Parsons chief executive officer John Grill as chair of the National Precincts Board was a welcome move.
“Mr Grill is well placed to help drive real benefits for industry and the wider economy through a more collaborative approach between the business and research communities,” said Ms Motto.
The announcement “rightly focused [attention] on delivering wider economic benefits for infrastructure and resources projects, and is seeking a stronger role for professional services through the establishment of a Services Leaders Group.”