“I think equally people are well versed on the need for civil infrastructure development, and whether it be in Australia or internationally, the public only has to have a look at population growth that is being experienced and is being forecast and the corresponding need for new infrastructure.
“So I think it’s very important that McConnell Dowell has the right strategy for the prevailing market, and for us to adjust our organisation’s focus accordingly.”
The second priority is further developing the company’s international growth opportunities – particularly in South East Asia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.
Mr Cummins says that when it came to taking up the role at McConnell Dowell, he was attracted to its multi-disciplinary capability and international track record, particularly given his familiarity with those markets.
“I was familiar with Australia, but particularly familiar with South East Asia and the Middle East where I have spent most of my working career.
“All countries in those regions are very different in the way business is executed. But if you know the business environment, it makes it that much easier to establish the business approach and the appropriate strategy to take the company forward in those markets.
“McConnell Dowell is fortunate in its diversity, both geographically and capability wise. From major cross country pipelines like the QCLNG and APLNG pipelines in Australia as part of the MCJV, to the remote Komo airport in PNG for ExxonMobil and developing Thailand’s pipeline projects for PTT, McConnell Dowell has an exceptional, long history in these areas.
“I particularly look at South East Asia as a very robust market with significant growth potential for McConnell Dowell. We have had a real presence and strong local staff resources from executing projects in South East Asia the past four decades and our fabrication and plant yards in Thailand and Batam, Indonesia.”
Mr Cummins is emphatic that a contracting business gains most value from having a diversity of geographies.
“If one market is good, and another is suffering, having geographical diversity enables us to spread our risk; it allows you to retain a good resource base.
“It is very easy if you have a project in South East Asia, Australians are very mobile and willing to go work on a project in, say, Thailand. Our operations in these regions are also well placed to support specific Australian project requirements.