Australian Institute of BuildingAustralian Institute of Building (AIB) is a valued member of ACIF, representing building and construction professionals. Using the organisation's skill and experience in interpreting the regulations facing its members, AIB has provided a summary of the new Model Work, Health and Safety legislation.

Thank you, AIB, for this valuable service to the industry. Click here for more.

The framework to deliver realistic visual simulations and models to help assess risks and benefits, and explore alternatives in infrastructure planning, design, and management is soon to be developed across Australia and New Zealand.

The creation of the ‘Virtual Australia and New Zealand’ (VANZ) Framework will formally commence on 10 July 2012 with a meeting of stakeholders, however this project has been in concept and consultation stage since 2010.

The project aims to deliver the Framework for a Federated ‘Statutory’ Virtual World, a highly secure 3D+ ‘true-to-life’ computer model of the natural and built environment (above and below ground, inside and out), including all structures at engineering scale.

A wide and expanding range of stakeholders are involved, from government, research and commercial organisations, with the aim to build a Framework for a Virtual World across Australia and New Zealand.

Once the Framework and the Virtual World have been developed, there will be benefits in many areas including building and construction, such as:

  • 3D models can help engineers to create better designs and reduce the risks, costs and time to deliver assets;
  • Architects, Engineers, Builders and Trades can more easily and more reliably locate underground services – with improving accuracy over time (as the data quality is improved through built-in correction processes) – avoiding design errors, data duplication and lost time; 
  • Storm, Flood, Fire and Earthquake Risks can be modelled with greater assurance, enabling authorities to better plan and regulate development (including specific building construction x location) and later using dynamic models to assess performance against regulation; and
  • The virtual world can also be used in asset management and in many other areas such as training.

Creating such benefits requires the seamless integration of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and related data sets - that uniquely represent each ‘property’, ‘legal boundary’ and ‘property related regulation’ in the real world.
Under the VANZ Framework, these unique data sets are referred to as ‘statutory’ data sets - as and when they are lodged with, or held by, the Local Government where the property is situated.

Such ‘statutory’ data sets need to be integrated across sites and local, state and national boundaries (within Australia and New Zealand), in a way that makes the data easily accessible by authorised users – allowing them to create their own 3D+ models of the world, using their own software.

Under the VANZ Framework, all property owners and their delegates (including all utilities and state infrastructure owners, etc) would remain free to source the data that represents their own assets from any provider in the market, on any terms they agree. They would also be free to determine the terms upon which their own data is made accessible under the VANZ Framework, including restricting access.

The VANZ Framework will simply operate at the ‘pre-competitive’ level, to facilitate access and secure integration between the different ‘statutory’ data sets – in a way that respects each data owner’s rights and obligations under the law.

For more information about VANZ, visit

Blake Dawson recently presented to ACIF the third in a series of reports, 'Scope for Improvement'. Research into the construction industry over 6 years, the report outlines the key reasons for the project problems such as late dellivery and over budget.

While the report finds that the industry has improved since the first report in 2006, still only 48% of the $55 billion in projects surveyed were delivered on time, on budget or to the required quality - so that means that 52% were not.

A key strategy for improvement is through increased co-operation and communication, achievable with integrated project teams - from the client through to construction to property mangement - working together throughout the project.

The Blake Dawson report Scope for Improvement 2011 is available by clicking here.

The Senate has set up an inquiry into the nexus between the demand for infrastructure delivery and the shortage of appropriate engineering and related employment skills in Australia. The inquiry will be carried out by the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committees.

The committee has been asked to consider the implications of the shortage for infrastructure delivery and the impact on economic development, cost, efficiency, safety and disputation, and the long term outsourcing of engineering activities by government on skills development and retention in both the private and public sectors.

The committee will consider options to address the skill shortage for engineers and related trades, for infrastructure delivery using alternative procurement models, and to consider effective strategies to develop and retain engineering talent in the private and public sectors through industry training and development, at enterprise, project and whole-of-sector levels. Incentives to the private sector through the procurement process to undertake skills development, and the consequences of skills shortage in the construction sector to the public sectors’ capacity to effectively procure and manage infrastructure projects will also be explored.

Submissions should be received by 3 February 2012. The reporting date is 30 June 2012.

ACIF ForecastsUpdated ACIF Forecasts have been released on the ACIF website.

ACIF Forecasts give you the most accurate and cost effective market information on where new work is coming from, and how much. In fact, whether you're interested in residential or non-residential building or infrastructure, we provide the industry with its very own compass to the future. ACIF Forecasts have a well deserved reputation for success over the past ten years.

Summaries across all areas of construction are available. In addition, ACIF Website Subscribers can use the Customised Forecast tools to query ACIF's database to generate their own forecast, even down to poscode level.

The information and analysis comes from KPMG Econtech's expert analysts, and ACIF’s own panel of distinguished industry economists, analysts and researchers, the Construction Forecasting Council. ACIF Forecasts answer the key questions: 

  • What will happen to interest rates, GDP, the A$, and employment? 
  • What is happening to demand for residential and non-residential building, and engineering construction? 
  • Where is the new work coming from? What types of work? 
  • What’s the impact of housing shortages and pent up demand for housing?
  • Where are new dwellings needed most?  
  • The mining industry continues to put huge pressure on skills. Where will the people come from?