Professionals Australia welcomes engineering agenda

20 October, 2016

For the first time in modern ACT political history, an ACT government has been elected with a comprehensive plan to invest in the key enablers of innovation: the engineering profession.

Professionals Australia looks forward to working with the Barr government to see delivery of their suite of election commitments, including the appointment of a Chief Engineer, more cadets and interns, improved pay and conditions and registration for engineers.

The ACT Director of Professionals Australia, David Smith said the government could now work to build an innovation economy in the ACT.

"We want to work with the re-elected Chief Minister to make Canberra the knowledge capital, with our smart and productive citizens using our liveable community to change our society and the world around them for the better," Smith said.

While the ACT Liberal Party also had a suite of policy measures aimed at building the profile and capacity of the engineering profession, the election has been seen by many as a referendum on the Barr Government's plans to deliver light rail.

Smith said light rail could not be delivered without a new emphasis on engineers.  "The big issue in this campaign was light rail, and what we need as a community is a government who will invest in the tools the government will need to deliver that project on time, and on budget." Smith said.

Professionals Australia's Better Infrastructure campaign has demonstrated cost blow-outs of between 12 – 20% due to a lack of engineering capacity.

"The government has demonstrated a willingness to not only invest in infrastructure, but in the tools they need to deliver it effectively: engineers," Smith said.

This is the second recent election in which the engineering profession has had a major focus, with the Victorian government delivering Infrastructure Victoria, a Chief Engineer, registration for engineers and Projects Victoria.

"The map of Australia is now representing successful advocacy for engineers, with each success building to the next," Professionals Australia CEO Chris Walton said.