AUSTRALASIA CONSTRUCTION INSIGHT

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1 AUSTRALASIA CONSTRUCTION INSIGHT March 2014 APRIL 2014

2 Disclaimer: While all reasonable skill and care has been taken in preparation of this document it should not be construed or relied upon as a substitute for specific legal advice from your legal adviser, or for specific advice on your insurance needs. No warranty or liability is accepted by Willis Australia Limited, its shareholders, directors, employees, other affiliated companies for any statement, error or omission.

3 Willis Construction is pleased to bring to you our Australasia Construction Insight. Given the pace of business today, it is extremely difficult to be across a myriad of items and articles of interest that focus on the Australian and New Zealand building and construction industry. To assist you in this regard, Willis Construction will draw upon our expansive regional network and will combine this information together into one electronic document for distribution to our customer base, on a regular basis. We trust you will find our offering useful. From all of us at Willis Construction, happy reading! Best regards, Michael Walshe Practice Leader - Sales T: E:

4 CONTENTS INDUSTRY NEWS ARTICLES - AUSTRALIA 1 Builder Confidence Hits Six Year High 1 Qld, SA, Vic Lead Housing Start Surge 2 Sydney Set for Construction Boom: BIS 2 Govt. Must Lead Construction Paradigm Shift: Industry Chief 3 IR Red Tape Strangles Construction Sector 3 INDUSTRY NEWS ARTICLES - NEW ZEALAND 4 $200 Million Waterfront Hotel Coming to Auckland 4 Cheaper Housing Plan for Christchurch 4

5 Industry News Articles - Australia BUILDER CONFIDENCE HITS SIX YEAR HIGH 24 April 2014 Confidence within the building and construction industry has surged to its highest level since before the full impact of the global financial crisis, a survey of 386 builders across the residential, commercial and civil construction sectors in Australia says. Published by Master Builders Australia, the March quarter National Survey of Building and Construction saw the level of confidence rise to levels of higher than 60.0 on an index ranging from 0 to 100 for the first time since March 2008 as business conditions and display centre traffic rose, profits and employment intentions stabilised and credit conditions eased even as sales continued to fall albeit at a declining pace. Meanwhile, the backlog of work continued to rebound, with almost half of all builders reporting six months or more of work on their books. Builder confidence is now well above the 50.0 mark separating positive sentiment from negative sentiment. MBA Chief Economist Peter Jones welcomed the latest results, noting that the first green shoots of commercial construction activity were emerging and that whilst New South Wales continues to be the star performer, Victoria was now gathering momentum and Western Australia continues to perform well despite the winding back of the resources boom. But he cautioned the underlying vulnerability of the industry remained and called on the government to continue to nuture growth and jobs whilst making the hard decisions to return the Federal Budget to surplus. To read the entire article view:

6 QLD, SA, VIC LEAD HOUSING START SURGE 16 April 2014 A bounce in residential construction activity in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia has led a surge in housing starts throughout Australia, albeit with a leading economist stressing caution should be observed in calling a recovery in the latter two states. In its latest report, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the overall number of housing construction starts in Australia jumped 8.2 percent in the December quarter last year to come in at 44,729 - the highest level on record since the June quarter of The result came as the overall dollar value of building and engineering construction work done eased back 0.87 percent to come in at $41.2 billion, with modest falls registered across each of the sectors. Leading the housing surge was South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, where starts rose by percent, percent and percent respectively. The latest figures followed earlier data this month showing indicators such as new home sales, building approvals and housing finance all pointing to a positive outlook for the industry. To read the entire article visit: SYDNEY SET FOR CONSTRUCTION BOOM: BIS 14 April 2014 Sydney is predicted to overtake central Queensland and the Pilbara in Western Australia as the next construction hotspot, according to economic forecaster BIS Shrapnel. The new independent report says NSW is heading into a period of sustained growth, in stark contrast to the other states and territories. BIS says the upswing in non-resource engineering construction work in Sydney is the leading factor. Projects including the $9billion North West Rail Link, the $2.8 billion M1-M2 Link, the $1.6 billion Sydney Light Rail, the $3.6 billion first stage of the WestConnex road project and upgrades on the Pacific Highway are construction projects all boosting Sydney. BIS reports that resources-related engineering construction is projected to fall 42 percent over the next five years, with oil and gas construction alone falling by more than 50 percent. To read the entire article visit:

7 GOVT. MUST LEAD CONSTRUCTION PARADIGM SHIFT: INDUSTRY CHIEF 9 April 2014 State and federal governments within Australia should use their position as major clients to lead a fundamental overhaul of twentieth century procurement models for major construction projects, a respected industry figure says. Australian Construction Industry Forum chief executive Peter Barda called for a paradigm shift in the way the tenders for developments are managed so that head contractors and trade contractors are included upfront in the project design. Barda s call comes shortly after ACIF released a raft of policies calling for changes not just in procurement but also across areas such as housing affordability, sustainable design and construction, building and planning regulation, occupational licensing, workplace relations and occupational health and safety - policies the organisation say are necessary to drive future gains in industry productivity. Of all these areas, Barda says shifting the approach toward procurement is arguably the most challenging in which to implement change but perhaps the biggest area in terms of yielding lasting results. He says current practices under which a portion of the design work is locked in before calling for tenders means clients miss out on the chance to benefit from the expertise of trade contractors and head contractors regarding how buildings and infrastructure can be designed and maintained. Instead, he would like to see clients go out into the marketplace and entire teams be put together to work on the design collaboratively. The release of ACIF policies come as government tender processes are under the public microscope after a draft report into the delivery of public sector infrastructure from the Productivity Commission called for a comprehensive overhaul of assessment and development processes last month. To read the entire article visit: IR RED TAPE STRANGLES CONSTRUCTION SECTOR 28 March 2014 Industrial relations has emerged as the biggest area of regulatory burden for the construction sector in Australia, according to the latest survey. As the Abbott government seeks to reduce the compliance burden on business, the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) National Survey: Burden of Government Regulation reveals that 95 percent of CEOs surveyed who operated within the building industry expected industrial relations and occupational health and safety to be either a high or medium burden on their business in Burdens associated with payroll and state taxes, national company taxes & GST and environment and infrastructure and planning were also deemed significant. More broadly, industrial relations also emerged as the single largest area of burden on a national scale, with 83 percent of CEOs across all industries listing this as a significant area of burden within their business. The report follows the Abbott s government s repeal day, under which the government introduced legislation to repeal more than 10,000 of what is says are unnecessary and counterproductive pieces of legislation and make dealing with government easier for business - efforts which have earned the praised of industry groups such as Master Builders Association. Across the nation, a total of 241 CEOs took part in the survey. To read the entire article visit:

8 Industry News Articles - New Zealand $200 MILLION WATERFRONT HOTEL COMING TO AUCKLAND 17 April 2014 Plans have been unveiled for a new NZ$200 million (A$186.5 million) five star hotel on Auckland s waterfront. The 200-room hotel, yet to be named, will be financed by Chinese company the Fu Wah International Group, in collaboration with Auckland Council s Waterfront Auckland, which says the hotel is believed to be one of the largest foreign investments in New Zealand public infrastructure. The hotel s proponents say construction will create more than 1300 full time jobs and add more than $100 million to Auckland s GDP. It will need approval from the Overseas Investment Office and resource consent before construction on the project can begin. Work on the hotel is expected to begin next year and completed in To read the entire article visit: CHEAPER HOUSING PLAN FOR CHRISTCHURCH 16 April 2014 The New Zealand Government and Christchurch City Council will spend NZ$125 million (A$116.5million) on encouraging cheaper housing to be built in the city desperately short of such accommodation. A housing accord, announced on Wednesday, will see the government invest NZ$75million and the council NZ$50m into an entity which will encourage private investment. A group will also be set up that will report monthly on the progress in house building in Christchurch and what effects rules are having on the residential rebuild. To read the entire article visit:

9 ABOUT WILLIS Willis Group Holdings plc. is a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating back to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis Australasia currently employs approximately 460 Associates, with nine offices throughout Australia and New Zealand, and has operated in the region for 55 years. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world s leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, our leadership journal Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world. WILLIS WORLDWIDE OFFICES

10 CONTACT WILLIS AUSTRALIA LIMITED ABN AFSL No ADELAIDE BRISBANE Level 1, 190 Flinders Street Level 1, 10 Eagle Street Adelaide SA 5000 Brisbane Qld 4000 T: T: HOBART MELBOURNE Level 6, 85 Macquarie Street Level 4, 555 Bourke Street Hobart TAS 7000 Melbourne VIC 3000 T: T: PERTH SYDNEY Level 8, 191 St. Georges Terrace Level 5, 179 Elizabeth Street PERTH WA 6000 Sydney NSW 2000 T: T: WILLIS NEW ZEALAND LIMITED AUCKLAND CHRISTCHURCH Level 8, 21 Queen Street Level 1, Building G Auckland 1140 NZ 2 Hazeldean Road T: Addington 8024 NZ T: WELLINGTON Level 8, 139 The Terrace Wellington 6011 NZ T: W0292AU 2014

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