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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 6 June 2018) . . Page.. 2141 ..

Key tasks to be undertaken by the chief engineer will include providing strategic and independent advice to government on a range of capital works, infrastructure and engineering issues; advising on infrastructure policy, significant projects and procurement matters; managing the preparation of an engineering workforce plan for the ACT government; and ongoing consultation with peak engineering industry associations and the industry more broadly.

The chief engineer will provide important advice to government as Canberra continues to grow as a vibrant, modern city. The role will predominantly provide strategic overview and independent advice relating to significant public sector engineering projects and the engineering aspects of urban development proposals within Canberra. The chief engineer will be a member of the recently established infrastructure planning and advisory committee, IPAC, which enhances the cooperation and strategic approach to infrastructure planning.

The chief engineer will also liaise closely with the government architect, various industry peak bodies including Consult Australia, Engineers Australia and Professionals Australia, and engineering and construction professionals. As with any new role, it will be refined over time, but there is plenty to focus on at the outset.

The new role will be funded through existing resources. Hence it does not need to involve additional cost to the government or to the ACT community, but it will bring considerable value by overseeing the engineering realm across Canberra. We have consulted and met with engineering industry groups on the creation of the position. These meetings have been encouraging and they have provided positive suggestions on how the chief engineer can add value. I look forward to working with industry as the role develops over the coming year.

I want to thank Engineers Australia, Consult Australia and Professionals Australia for their interest in this new role and for their continuing contribution to the establishment of the role. In particular, I appreciate the preparation of the joint document titled “Shaping a better Canberra, the Office of the Chief Engineer”, October 2017, which has provided valuable input. I will be making an announcement in the near future on the appointment of the chief engineer.

MR RATTENBURY (Kurrajong) (5.54): I will speak only briefly on this motion as it seems we are all in furious agreement that there should be a chief engineer. Certainly, the Greens are supportive of this approach. I will be supporting Mr Gentleman’s amendments. They correct Ms Lawder’s motion to note that the funding is in this year’s budget. It did seem sort of amusing that we almost had a pre-budget announcement coming from Ms Lawder. There she was on Monday calling for it. “Ta-da!” in Tuesday’s budget, there it was. That has all worked very well.

I look forward to seeing the appointment of a chief engineer in the ACT. I think the position can provide a valuable contribution to work going on here in the territory. I certainly know it has been a significant point of contact from Engineers Australia over recent years to say they feel this can really add value to the development of capital works projects in the ACT. I hope that it will deliver what everyone believes it will.

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