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Federal budget renewable investment welcomed, infrastructure a “wakeup call” – ACA

Safe workplace crane lifting safety supervisor conducting safety check on workers while crane being lift heavy load construction mine site, Perth, Australia

The Australian Constructors Association has affirmed the Federal budget’s support for renewable fuels while saying the country needs to tackle the escalating costs of infrastructure projects nationwide.

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In its 2024-25 Federal budget, the Government said it will invest $1.7 billion in supporting the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to commercialise net zero innovations including low-carbon liquid fuels such as renewable diesel and hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

Following the release of a report in March highlighting renewable diesel as “key” to decarbonising construction equipment, CEO for the Australian Constructors Association, Jon Davies, said the investment would help “bridge the gap” until electrification becomes economically viable for businesses.

“Renewable diesel enables necessary emission reductions in the short term without modifications to existing machinery,” he said.

“A domestic renewable diesel industry will have a range of additional benefits beyond construction decarbonisation, including lower air pollutants and better air quality, energy security, local employment and economic growth from both feedstock and refining.”


Furthermore, Davies also highlighted the $10.1 billion allocated for current and existing infrastructure projects as a wakeup call for the industry to ensure costs don’t unnecessarily blow out.

“We can’t afford to continue with business as usual; planning needs to be improved and construction costs need to be lowered to ensure the country can afford the infrastructure it needs,” he said.

According to Davies, the Australian Government’s Future Made policy could be used to dramatically lower the cost of construction by investing in modern methods of construction (MMC).

“MMC has the potential to revolutionise project delivery by shifting more work to controlled factory environments. This standardised approach not only significantly boosts productivity but also mitigates site-based risks such as inclement weather, and offers safer, more flexible working environments,” he said.

“MMC also aligns seamlessly with Australia’s ambitions for net-zero emissions. By reducing waste and minimising reliance on fossil fuels, MMC presents a pathway toward decarbonising the construction industry and meeting global emission targets.”

The Australian Constructors Association is the only representative body for contractors delivering vertical and horizontal construction projects, as well as undertaking infrastructure asset management.

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