The construction industry in Australia is on a roll. According to the organisers of the forthcoming Construction Materials Industry Conference (CMIC18), Australia is on the cusp of the biggest influx of public and private infrastructure investment in decades, and the coming infrastructure boom will be one and a half times the size of recent Australian mining boom.
“By way of example, the Federal Government’s asset recycling program, combined with a clear focus on what constitutes good and bad debt, is delivering a pipeline of Australian transport infrastructure projects peaking at over $16B per annum by 2019,” they say.
“Similarly, the biggest change in the electricity generation network since the 1970s is delivering huge investment in wind, solar and storage infrastructure – everything from wind farms to Snowy 2.0.”
They point out that construction jobs have already grown strongly, up 64,400 in quarter two of 2017 alone. “For the first time in over 30 years, this industry reflects just short of one in 10 jobs in the broader economy. As a result, most states in Australia are experiencing a tight labour market, particularly in the areas we as an industry operate.”
Quite rightly they point out that the construction materials industry will fuel the infrastructure boom, and they are predicting seven to 10 years of elevated activity.
What goes up almost invariably also goes down: most major construction projects involve excavation, which means locating, and often re-locating underground infrastructure.
Take the case of Sydney’s troubled light rail project where subcontractor Acciona is suing the NSW Government for $1.2 billion claiming it was misled over what it would need to do to relocate gas, water, and electricity infrastructure to construct the line.
That aside the conference, jointly organised by the Institute of Quarrying Australia (IQA) and Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) promises to be the highlight of the year for anyone involved in the construction industry.
The event is held only every two years and this year’s event, to be held at the new International Convention Centre (ICC) in Sydney from September 19 to 21 is being billed as “a re-energised exhibition including a dedicated industry innovation day.”
At the time of writing, only an outline of the program was available. You can find it and full details of the event here.
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