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Call for political parties to honour infrastructure contracts

18 June, 2015

Australia's leading construction contractors have called on all political parties to commit to honouring contracts entered into for the construction of Australia's much needed infrastructure.

The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) said that the emerging trend of Opposition political parties announcing that they will terminate contracts entered into by elected governments is creating long term harm for the industry and increasing the cost of much needed infrastructure over the longer term.  

ACA executive director, Lindsay Le Compte, said that there could be many unexpected consequences from statements made by political parties that they will cancel contracts, if elected.

"Whether or not a contract is ultimately terminated, the emerging trend of political parties threatening to terminate contracts is causing significant angst within the construction sector, both locally and internationally, and is raising the spectre of sovereign risk that could impact on all Australian infrastructure projects and the community in general," he said.

"There are serious consequences to bear such as impacts on the timing and availability of funding and financing of projects, increases in the cost of projects and reduction in competition and innovation.

"If this trend continues, we will start seeing the limited funds available for infrastructure projects being diverted to projects in other countries.

"The construction sector employs around one million Australians and relies on a sustainable pipeline of infrastructure projects to support general construction across the country. It's absolutely critical that all political parties act responsibly. Failure to do so will put at risk billions of dollars of much needed infrastructure, jeopardise jobs growth and significantly damage the country's economic credibility."

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