They're not just big employers (particularly in remote locations); they’re huge users of infrastructure and amongst our largest source of export dollars. With nation-shaping projects that count in the billions of dollars and last for decades, ENR is a truly amazing ecosystem of alliances, partnerships, joint ventures and financiers.
No other sector has the same pioneering spirit. It’s what attracted me to specialise in the industry over 20 years ago, and I have no doubts the sector will remain vital to Australia’s prosperity in the foreseeable future. Deservedly so.
But we have to ensure its health and vitality remains strong.
"It's very fulfilling to bring new ideas and approaches that help our clients solve their complex challenges."
National Partner in Charge,
Energy & Natural Resources
A changing environment
The challenges facing the industry are significant; especially now as the sector is no longer insulated from the slowing global growth. Today, regulatory complexity, the relatively high cost of doing business in Australia, a strong local dollar, license-to-operate and social pressure, and remote labour issues to name just a few, all combine to create unique challenges for the industry.
However, the most critical challenge, as we see it, is that capital can quickly flow across borders to the most attractive investment and business environment. On a national level this is a very real risk for Australia.
Getting more from less
This is all increasing the need to improve productivity and reduce project-specific risks. Put simply, while getting the product out of the ground and to market quickly is still important, the focus has moved to getting more out and at a lower cost.
At KPMG this means helping our clients optimise organisational productivity and costs: from supply chain efficiency to structuring the business and managing change, to ensuring that the ‘right things’ are being measured and monitored across their business.
They also look to us for help in minimising and managing project risks, developing innovative financing approaches and, for the many complex projects owned by multiple partners, enhancing transparency and confidence. For me this is one of the most professionally fulfilling aspects of being involved in the sector. That we can bring new ideas and approaches from our diverse global network and help our clients solve these complex challenges.
The ENR sector is here to stay and will remain a critically important component of the Australian economy for years to come.