This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/24/2018

Overview

The Australian construction industry is valued at approximately AUD150 billion (USD112 billion) annually and accounts for around 9% of GDP.  According to the AiGroup and Australian Constructors Association, after an almost 10% fall in 2015/16, the value of turnover from all major construction work in Australia in 2017 recovered by 5.2% (against a 4.6% forecast).  The forecast for the 2018 calendar year is that this figure will increase by 9.3% and a further 8% in 2019. In particular, engineering construction is expected to see increased activity throughout 2018 and 2019.  This includes road and rail projects as well as other civil and telecommunications infrastructure.

The Australian federal government’s annual budget announcement in May 2018 confirmed its AUD75 billion (USD56 billion) ten-year national infrastructure plan, which focuses on improving road safety, tackling congestion and delivering essential rail links. Amongst the infrastructure projects currently under construction across mainland Australia are the Bruce Highway and Pacific Motorway in QLD, the NorthConnex and Bringelly Road upgrade projects in NSW, the Forrestfield Airport Link in WA and the Murray Basin and Melbourne Metro rail projects in VIC.

Commercial construction activity e.g. offices, retail buildings, warehouses, industrial facilities had contracted in 2017 but is expected to show an increase of 7.8% in 2018.  In the residential sector, multi-level apartment construction continues to grow but the value of work is forecast to decrease sharply (more than 15% decline) in 2019.  In line with the wind-down in mining investment over the last four-five years, resources-related engineering construction will likely continue to decline but the rate of decline is easing.

Australia has a number of home-grown EPC (engineering, procurement, construction) groups, which are particularly well-established in the mining-related engineering construction sector but some of whom also have considerable overseas project experience.  Major UK and US EPC companies that have long had a presence in the market include Bechtel, Fluor, Balfour & Beatty, Laing O’Rourke.  More recent market entrants have set up operations in-country either directly e.g. Bouygues (France), POSCO (Korea), or through acquisition e.g. ACS (Spain) now owns the CIMIC Group (formerly known as Leighton Holdings and includes CPB Contractors, John Holland, Thiess and UGL).

Leading Sub-Sectors

Key sub-sectors in this industry include road and rail construction, commercial construction.

Opportunities

The Infrastructure Priority List (IPL) is a prioritized list of nationally significant investments, detailing major proposals to boost the Australian economy.  The 2018 list identifies 96 major infrastructure proposals, including six High Priority Projects, six Priority Projects, 24 High Priority Initiatives and 60 Priority Initiatives. The IPL can be viewed at https://ia-priority-list.herokuapp.com/pdf .

Information on major construction projects in Australia is available through the Projectory www.projectory.com.au subscription-based service which covers the resource-related, infrastructure, defense, petrochemical and utilities sectors.

Web Resources

Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB):  http://www.abcb.gov.au
Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF): http://www.acif.com.au
Australian Institute of Architects (AIA): http://www.architecture.com.au/
Building Products Innovation Council (BPIC): http://www.bpic.asn.au/
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA): http://www.gbca.org.au/
Housing Industry Association (HIA):  http://www.hia.com.au
Master Builders Australia Inc. (MBA):  http://www.masterbuilders.com.au
 

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Australia Building Products Trade Development and Promotion