Recently I spoke at the Infolink Business Dinner about what can be done to unlock investment and job creation in Tasmania's construction industry.
Here are the opening lines of my speech or if you would like to read the speech in full please click on the link below:
I want to thank Dan O’Brien and Incolink for the invitation to speak here tonight, as well as Tim O’Halloran from the Shaping Agency for doing a great job helping to organise it.
I also want to commend Incolink for the crucial work it does in supporting members of the construction industry here in Tasmania.
As you would all appreciate, construction is an industry with arguably the greatest exposure to fluctuations in the broader economy.
Because of this, a strong safety net remains a key feature of the industry landscape.
Things like the administration of redundancy entitlements, transferrable sick leave, income protection insurance, and mental health support services might not be the most glamourous aspects of the industry.
But they really do matter.
I tend to think of them as a bit like oxygen. Very easy not to think about when everything’s going well. Pretty much all you think about when things go bad and they’re not available.
There is another dimension of Incolink’s business model which rates an important mention.
Most of you are probably familiar with the Ensuring Integrity Bill – I dare say some of you might even have strong feelings about it.
We can talk a bit about the substance of that bill in discussion later on.
For now, suffice it to say that in my brief parliamentary career so far, especially in discussions over that piece of legislation, it has not been lost on me how bitter and deeply conflicted workplace relations in the construction industry often are.
In some cases, I emerge from stakeholder meetings wondering how anything ever gets built at all.
Incolink offers a rare and refreshing counterpoint to that picture.
Along with Industry superannuation funds, the organisation stands out as a great example of what can be achieved when employer-organisations and unions, capital and labour, cooperate closely in the boardroom to achieve beneficial outcomes for members.
For that, I offer my sincere commendation.
To read the full speech click here