May 19, 2020

Australian building legislation bill amended

The Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Bill 2017
Harry Allan
1 min
Australian building legislation bill amended

The Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Bill 2017 has received crossbench approval in the Australian parliament. The bill looks to make the construction sector more competitive with the goal of delivering value for taxpayers.

“We welcome the Senate voting to bring forward the transition to the new Building Code,” Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said after the passage of the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Amendment Bill 2017 last night.

“Senator Hinch and other crossbench senators should be commended for working with the government to improve this law. They’ve shown real political guts.

“It’s always refreshing to see a political leaders willing to revise their positions, and we congratulate Senator Hinch on demonstrating this leadership.

“With the bill passed, now is the time for everyone to work together to ensure a smooth transition to the new code.

“This will lock in increased competitiveness for the construction sector, which is vital to delivering essential public infrastructure like schools, hospitals and roads affordably for taxpayers.”

Westacott applauded crossbench senators Bernardi, Burston, Griff, Hanson, Hinch, Kakoschke-Moore, Leyonhjelm, Roberts and Xenophon for last night supporting the bill.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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