Mary Thompson, managing director of contractor McLeod Rail, blamed government rules for shackling employers and creating a “bureaucratic and just plain timid” approach to getting projects built.
“The central problem in terms of wage costs isn’t the poor mine electrician or haul truck driver getting $150,000 a year, it is the 20 people in the project office doing compliance,” she said.
“Each person probably spends between 25 per cent and 80 per cent of their available time on compliance paperwork, checks, inspections, meetings and correspondence.”
Sinc Update: Adding to this post – have a look at the Lend Lease submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Public Infrastructure:
One of the larger contributors is the increase in staffing numbers on a site. The following percentages are the salaries of staff (nonblue collar) in proportion to the ‘design and construction’ cost of a project. There are variances in these numbers project to project but the number below is a fair representation of the situation.
1993 – 4% typical job – one safety staff; one consultant; three Quality Assurance = five staff
2003 – 8% typical job – one environmental staff; two safety staff; three Quality Assurance = six staff
2013 – 11% typical job – five environmental staff; six safety staff; two community officers; four QA, one human resource, one Systems Manager, two planners (as start), one Traffic Manager, one Landscape; one Rail Interface Manager = 24 staff