Construction and Sustainability in Western Australia 2024

WhereBallroom 2, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
21 Mounts Bay Road,
Boorloo (Perth) WA 6000
WhenWednesday 10 July 2024, 11.30am (12.00pm start) - 2.00pm

Download the full report and the media release.

The Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre invites you to the launch of the next research report in the Centre’s Focus on Industry series, Building the Dream: The future of Western Australia’s construction industry.

Western Australia’s construction sector continues to endure pressure on a number of fronts, not least from a perfect storm of growth followed by contraction in dwelling approvals and commencements, high costs of materials, a shortage of skilled construction workers, and (ironically) the lack of new housing to accommodate the workforce necessary to meet the state’s rising demand for housing.

And yet a strong, efficient, and innovative construction industry is integral to the state’s economic, social and environmental progress.

This new report takes a detailed look at the state’s construction sector workforce, both in terms of current skills shortages and its future skills requirements. Do we have enough construction workers at different stages of the homebuilding production chain to meet the challenge of lifting the state’s housing supply? And if not, what processes and policies can resolve the current skills shortages and future skills needs?

The report also frames the development of WA’s construction industry in context of the global transition to net zero and the state’s ambition to achieve net zero by 2050. We do so first by examining the pace with which the construction sector is travelling towards carbon neutrality. And second, we examine the emerging technologies for residential and commercial building that will contribute to the sustainability of Western Australia’s built environment.

Headshots (L-R) Tiffany Allen, Michael McGowan, Kaylene Gulich, Luke Parker
(L-R) Tiffany Allen, Michael McGowan, Kaylene Gulich and Luke Parker.

Hosted by Nadia Mitsopoulos, Journalist and Presenter, ABC Radio Perth, we are holding a special lunch event on Wednesday 10 July. Hear from our expert panel: Tiffany Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Construction Training Fund; Michael McGowan, Executive Director Western Australia, Housing Industry Association; Kaylene Gulich, Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Treasury Corporation; and Luke Parker, Founding Director, OP Properties.

Headshots (L-R): Alan Duncan, Adam Crowe, Nadia Mitsopoulos, Peter Bouhlas, Lindy Fitzgerald
(L-R): Alan Duncan, Adam Crowe, Nadia Mitsopoulos, Peter Bouhlas, Lindy Fitzgerald

Lead authors Professor Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, and Dr Adam Crowe, Australian Housing Research Institute Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Curtin University, will present new research findings from Building the Dream, with Peter Bouhlas, General Manager, Home Buying Bankwest, to give opening remarks, and Professor Lindy Fitzgerald, Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Curtin University, to give the Vote of Thanks.

Date: Wednesday 10 July 2024

Time: 11:30am (12:00pm start) – 2:00pm

Location: Ballroom 2, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Boorloo (Perth), WA

Cost: $89 per individual ticket, $712 per table of eight, $59 per student ticket

Please note registrations for this event have now closed. If you would still like to secure a ticket, please email bcec@curtin.edu.au.

For any questions or assistance with registering, please email bcec@curtin.edu.au or ring us on +61 8 9266 1744.

About the speakers

Tiffany Allen, Chief Executive Officer, Construction Training Fund

Tiffany Allen is the Chief Executive Officer at the Construction Training Fund and has over 27 years’ experience working in State and Federal government. Tiffany has worked in many senior roles across various government agencies including the role of Director Community Construction and Development and Executive Director of Housing and Homelessness at the Department of Communities.

Tiffany is passionate about delivering positive outcomes for the WA community, for today and tomorrow, and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In 2019 Tiffany was awarded the UDIA Women in Leadership Award and is Chair of the UDIA Industry Workforce Committee. Tiffany is also the Chairperson of Softball WA and competes in athletics and softball at the Australian and World Masters Games.

Peter Bouhlas, General Manager, Products and Digital Services, Bankwest

Peter Bouhlas is an experienced business executive, with a career spanning more than 20 years, and is currently the General Manager, Products and Digital Services at Bankwest. As a member of the Bankwest Leadership team, Peter is accountable for the full end-to-end product customer journey and experience, leading a large multi-disciplined team of financial services and technology professionals.

Peter joined Bankwest in 2016 and held previous General Manager roles within the business, spanning Technology Delivery, Home Buying, Payments and Strategic Partnerships.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering (Honours) from UWA.

Dr Adam Crowe, AHURI Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Curtin University

Adam is a postdoctoral research fellow deeply invested in understanding the intricacies of the Australian housing system. His research delves into the intersection of urban living and housing dynamics, with a particular emphasis on accessibility, affordability, and sustainability.

Through a multidisciplinary lens rooted in Human Geography and Urban Studies, Adam researchers and writes on the evolving landscape of cities, driven by concerns about urban equity, climate resilience and the residualisation of social welfare systems.

Professor Alan Duncan, Director, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Professor Alan Duncan is Director of the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre and John Curtin Distinguished Professor at Curtin University.

Alan’s research is motivated by a passion to influence public debate on economic, social health and public policy issues through rigorous, evidence-based research. He is ranked among the top five per cent of economists globally, and has served on senior advisory panels and boards for government and public sector organisations in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and the US, advising on areas including tax policy, pensions, labour markets and household welfare.

Alan was awarded the prestigious Frisch Medal of the Econometric Society in 2000, and was appointed John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2020 in recognition of his research scholarship and sustained contribution to Curtin University and the wider community.

Professor Melinda (Lindy) Fitzgerald, Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research, Curtin University

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Melinda Fitzgerald is the Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor, Research at Curtin University and CEO of Connectivity Traumatic Brain Injury Australia.

Lindy is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies, frameworks, and activities to achieve the University’s strategic goals in research and IP commercialisation, including Curtin’s Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer funded by the federal government.

Professor Fitzgerald also leads a team of researchers and post-graduate students in nationally coordinated research focused around understanding and preventing the loss of function that occurs following neurotrauma.

Kaylene Gulich PSM, Chief Executive Officer, Western Australian Treasury Corporation

Kaylene has extensive experience in public policy, knowledge of financial markets and expertise in the Western Australian economy. Kaylene is the CEO of Western Australian Treasury Corporation (WATC), the central borrowing authority of the State of Western Australia managing over AU$50 billion in financial assets and liabilities for the State.  Kaylene has previously held senior roles within the Department of Treasury.

As well as being a member of CPA Australia and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Kaylene currently holds Director positions on the VenuesWest’s Board (portfolio of elite sport and entertainment facilities) and the not-for-profit Barking Gecko Theatre. Kaylene holds the position as Treasurer for the Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) WA, is a Director with the Australian Financial Markets Association and recently took on a Director role with the WA Institute of Sport.

Kaylene was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2021 for outstanding public service to Western Australia through a range of roles.

Michael McGowan, Regional Executive Director, Housing Industry Association WA

Michael McGowan is currently the Regional Executive Director at the Housing Industry Association in WA, appointed to the position in June 2022.

Michael joined the Housing Industry Association in 2019 and has held the roles of Commercial Manager and Deputy Regional Executive Director. Previous to Michael joining HIA, he spent four years at CCIWA.

Michael is an experienced business executive, having worked closely with government, industry bodies, members and stakeholders.  Michael has a particular interest in training & development, and influencing young members of our industry. Michael is also Chair of the Housing Industry Forecasting Group following his appointment in October 2023.

Nadia Mitsopoulos, Journalist and Broadcaster, ABC Radio Perth

Nadia Mitsopoulos is a journalist and broadcaster with 30 years experience in radio and television. She currently hosts the Mornings program on ABC Radio Perth.

Nadia has volunteered her time for various organisations and is currently on the board of Netball WA.

Luke Parker, Founding Director, OP Properties

Luke is a Founding Director at OP Properties and has some twenty years’ experience in property development advisory, client-side project management, construction superintendency and sales across a wide range of sectors including retail, commercial, mixed-use, heritage, retirement living, aged care, community and civic, disability care, not for profit, grouped and multi-unit residential developments ranging in value up to $1bn.

Luke holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Construction Management and Economics with Honours and a Master of Property from Curtin University.

Luke is an active participant and contributor to many property industry bodies including the Property Council of Australia, Urban Development Institute of Australia and the Real Estate Institute of Australia and is the current Chair of the Property Council’s (WA) Residential Committee.