Diona supports a better deal for Australian mid-tier contractors

Diona has joined Australian Owned Contractors (AOC), a peak industry lobby group, to help secure a fairer deal for Australian-owned mid-tier contractors working on major public infrastructure projects.

Diona has partnered with 13 industry colleagues to encourage governments nationwide to better consider mid-size firms as delivery partners when investing in major public infrastructure projects.

David O’Connor, Board Chair of Calibre and Diona, believes there is a place for Australian owned mid-tier firms to act as head contractor.

“This is a leadership decision. It’s not about mid-tier versus global multinational, but rather what can be achieved with some changes in the current procurement processes. There is a place for large, mid and smaller sized firms to participate in the supply chain. But when it comes to major nation-building projects, we’re not in the consideration set as the lead contractor due to the financial scale required.” said Mr O’Connor.

Diona would like to see tender packages let for values of around $50-$200m+, rather than a single package of billion-dollar+ projects. Due to the risk profile and financial commitment required, such packages exclude businesses like Diona and other Australia owned contractors from taking a project leadership role.

“My goal is to achieve a fairer playing field,” said Mr O’Connor. “Ultimately, should an Australian-owned contractor win the work, it will help create a more sustainable local civil construction industry and keep profits within Australia.”

CEO of AOC Brent Crockford welcomed Diona’s membership.

“The AOC represents the interests of 13 of Australia’s most experienced, locally owned mid-tier companies, comprising more than 13,000 employees and subcontractors.” he said.

“The AOC is working to change the procurement processes for major taxpayer-funded projects across the country so multi-billion-dollar tender packages are no longer bundled to favour large foreign owned construction firms.” Mr Crockford said.

As governments invest in shovel-ready projects to revitalise the economy, both Mr Crockford and Mr O’Connor believe it is essential that Australian owned businesses are given a fair go to participate in head contract positions.