This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/25/2017

Construction is a significant contributor to the Australian economy, accounting for approximately 9% of GDP.  The outlook for 2016/17, according to the AiGroup and Australian Constructors Association, is that the value of turnover from all major construction work will recover by 4.6%, following a 9.8% reduction in 2015/16.  While resources-related engineering will continue to contract, engineering construction – particularly infrastructure-related projects for road and rail, largely located on the east coast – will experience a modest increase of 3.6% through the year (after a sharp fall of 15% in 2015/16)

The Australian federal government announced in May that they will commit significant funds to a range of infrastructure projects across the county in the coming year including construction of the Melbourne-Brisbane inland rail link, worth USD 6.3 billion; construction of a second airport for Sydney at Badgerys Creek, valued at almost USD 4 billion over 10 years; a USD 633 million upgrade of the Bruce Highway in Queensland; approximately USD 750 million to projects in Victoria including USD 375 million for a regional rail fund and USD 23 million for the airport link business case; and USD 1.2 billion for infrastructure in WA, including funding for better road access to the Fiona Stanley Hospital precinct.

Commercial construction activity e.g. offices, retail buildings, warehouses, industrial facilities is expected to show a similar modest increase of 3.5% this year.  In the residential sector, there has been strong growth (18.6% in 2015/16) in multi-level apartment construction, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, which is expected to peak in the next 12 months and then drop to around 3% in the following year.
The passing of the mining boom has seen a decrease in the past two years of overall imports of construction equipment and building products.  The following table shows the declining value of imports (in USD bn) from 2014 to 2016, but highlights the dominant role of the U.S. as a supplier in this sector:





Total Construction Equipment imports to Australia in US Billions




Breakdown by top three countries




1. United States




2. Japan




3. China




(Source: UN Comtrade database, TPIS database, UNHS Imports)





Total Building Products imports to Australia in US Billions




Breakdown by top three countries




1. China




2. United States




3. Thailand




(Source: UN Comtrade database, TPIS database, UNHS Imports)

Leading Sub-Sectors

Key sub-sectors in this industry include road and rail construction, residential construction and age/health-related construction.  For building products, energy-efficiency is a strong focus.

The Infrastructure Priority List (IPL) is a prioritized list of nationally significant investments, detailing 100 major proposals to boost the Australian economy.  In addition to the projects mentioned in the budget, current high priority projects include:

  • M4 motorway upgrade (Sydney)
  • WestConnex (Sydney)
  • Melbourne Metro Rail (Melbourne)
  • M80 Ring Road upgrade (Melbourne)
  • Ipswich Motorway (Brisbane)

Web Resources
Best Prospects report Construction Machinery
Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB)
Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF)
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)
Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC)
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA)
Housing Industry Association (HIA)
Master Builders Australia Inc. (MBA)

Trade Shows

Date: May 2-4, 2018
Frequency: Annual
Location: Alternates, 2018 event will be in Melbourne, VIC
Website:  DesignBuild
ARBS 2018 - Air Conditioning, Refrigeration & Building Services Exhibition
Date: 8-10 May, 2018
Frequency: Biennial
Location: ICC, Sydney, NSW
Website:  ARBS 2018


Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting

Australia Building Products Trade Development and Promotion