Thanks to a reasonable pipeline of projects, the Australian transport construction sector is set for significant growth over the next two years.
In 2010, the value of engineering work on transport facilities amounted to $23.143 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
In calendar 2011, the Construction Forecasting Council (CFC) expects that value to rise 8.9% to $25.204 billion on the way to reaching $31.123 billion by financial year 2012/13.
The CFC is not alone. Construction information service provider BCI Australia describes long term forecasts for the sector as “positive” with “high demand pressures growing in the transport field.”
In its Annual Construction Market Outlook 2011/12, BCI forecasts that construction starts in the sector will amount to $2.295 billion during the next financial year – more than matching estimates for the current financial year of $2.134 billion and more than double the $1.100 billion recorded in 2009/10.
However, the CFC expects activity to begin to contract slightly after 2012/13 as cash strapped governments ease back on infrastructure spending.
Significant State Level Developments
Most of the anticipated growth is expected to be shared by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.
According to CFC forecasts:
• Activity in New South Wales/ACT will peak at $9.873 billion in 2013/14 (compared with $6.930 last year) as the state/territory benefits from work associated with the Country Regional (Rail) Network ($1.5 billion) and construction of 27km of dual divided carriageway between the F3 at Seahampton & the New England Highway west of Branxton ($1.13 billion) this year.
• Buoyed by work on the Deer Park to West Werribee Rail Line ($4.3 billion), the $4.5 billion first stage of the Melbourne Metro Rail Tunnel and the $5 billion Westlink – West Gate Bridge Alternative, activity in Victoria is set to peak at $5.777 billion in 2013/14 – up from $3.031 billion last year.
• Activity in Queensland, which is benefiting from work associated with flood repairs, will peak in 2012/13 at $9.489 billion.
Much of this, however depends on the progress regarding the Cross River Rail Project, which has been delayed to help pay for the repairs.
• Activity in Western Australia is set to peak at $5.386 billion in 2012/13, up from $4.846 billion last year.