Job cuts

20 August 2013 — Consult Australia is calling for urgent government action in Queensland to rebuild productivity.

A survey, by the industry association for built environment firms, found more than 60 per cent of Queensland firms had cut up to a third of their business in the past 12 months, with half anticipating they would employ no new staff in 2013/14.

The association’s Queensland state manager Stacey Rawlings believes the findings are an indication of a contraction in government investment in infrastructure.

“The struggling built environment industry is an early indicator of what will become a serious problem for the state’s economy, and it is critical that all spheres of government act immediately,” she said.

“The survey responses are indicative of over 2000 staff redundancies across engineering, architecture, project management, quantity surveying and related professions in the past 12 months.

“Firms’ lack of confidence in future investment means we are expecting more job losses every day.

“The decline in business confidence is palpable across the industry, nearly 90 per cent of respondents feel the government (state and federal) could be doing more to stimulate the economy.”

Ms Rawlings said survey results, covering firms employing 5000 staff across the state, should signal a stark wakeup call to government.

“Consult Australia is advocating for common sense recommendations including a stronger infrastructure pipeline, new funds for investment, support for best practice procurement and the creation of a better business operating environment,” she said.

“With consulting services operating at the front-end of a long supply chain through resources, property and construction, these results should be taken very seriously.

“If nothing is done Queensland will see its advanced services sector professionals moving interstate and overseas, or into other industries.”