Buisness Enviroments of Construction Firms: A comparison of metropolitan and regional enterprises in Australia
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Business
The construction industry tends to be viewed as an indicator of economic activity and as a relatively large employer of labour either directly as employees or indirectly in the large number of small businesses that make up the sector. Many of these small businesses are geographically dispersed, forming a significant part of business activity in some areas. For these reasons governments take an active interest in the health of the construction industry. At a time when there is concern in Australia about the level of economic activity in non- metropolitan centres, this is expressed as a concern for the health of non-metropolitan construction markets. Non-metropolitan tendering and markets appears to be a neglected area of research and deserves closer examination and attention. Understanding regional tendering markets is thus the focus of this research. This research, supported by the University of Melbourne and the Building Control Commission of Victoria, suggests that the role of construction in the regional or non-metropolitan areas of Australia does have a significant role to play underpinning the social and economic life of regional communities. The specific objectives of the total research program are to identify and analyse the problems encountered by firms tendering for building projects in non-metropolitan areas throughout Australia and to provide a detailed picture of regional tendering markets by identifying the problems or factors that may inhibit competitive bidding in the regional areas of Victoria. These factors are considered under the headings of finance, labour, staff development, market, travel, communications and government contracts. The researchers present a review of their research to date based upon this survey of regional and metropolitan contractors in Victoria, Australia.