Although it remains early days and many industries are still working on their recovery. The construction and engineering sectors are well placed to continue playing a key role in the Australian economy as a job creator. This presents excellent opportunities for organisations who can strike the right balance of clear strategy and risk management.
The timing of when our local recovery will start is the million-dollar question. There is an established pipeline of construction and infrastructure work, and we project that additional investment will include further government funding for education, healthcare, schools, and aged care facilities.
Infrastructure, data centres, health care and the industrial space, are the likely winners in the post-COVID world, as government bolsters its investment, creating jobs. Data Centres/Mission Critical is in short supply of talent, and this niche sector will be the next big boom for Australia and APAC engineering and infrastructure. Defence projects are performing strongly on the back of huge government investment, which is increasing year on year.
The Cross River Rail Project in Brisbane, Queensland
The federal government is committed to stimulating the economy to get things moving again, and infrastructure is already identified as a priority. That stimulus is going to feed into our sectors, and we should be busy off the back of it.
Many construction and infrastructure projects in development will proceed without major impact, driven by government spending and the market. Smaller, ‘shovel-ready’ projects will be a clear winner as a driver of job creation, with the current environment creating opportunities for Australian-owned SME players to deliver works up to $20M.
In NSW, infrastructure remains the driving force, with a significant pipeline and committed investment including the Metro rail network, Parramatta Light Rail, and major highways projects. We are now entering the next construction phase for some of these major projects, which means 2-3 years of ‘boots on the ground’ high activity ahead.
Another 3-4 big projects coming online for their construction phase will further increase the demand for talent, on top of existing skills shortages.
Images by Cross River Rail
Our Queensland focus is still very much on government-driven infrastructure work, so we welcome the federal government’s announcement of fast-tracked backing for the next phase of the huge Inland Rail project.
In the Brisbane market, the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail Project is the state’s highest priority infrastructure project, with the new line and high-capacity stations to unlock the transport network’s bottlenecks and problems.
Helping to restore the local construction industry’s momentum and boosting the economy, the project will generate unique opportunities for construction, urban renewal, economic development and revitalisation of inner-city precincts, providing many employment opportunities.
Cross River Rail’s new stations and train frequency
Announced in August 2017, Cross River Rail will be a 10.2-kilometre line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills. Expected to be completed by 2024, it will include a twin 5.9-kilometre tunnel under the CBD and Brisbane River. The line will be used by 164,000 passengers daily, and during peak times, trains will be able to run every five minutes from Brisbane.
Population numbers in South East Queensland are expected to grow by 1.4 million by 2030, increasing transport, with rail needs projected to triple. Naturally, with immigration slowing, new forecasts are still being worked on; however, the Cross River Rail will create new train capacity for Brisbane and also provide five high-capacity stations at Boggo Road, Woolloongabba, Albert Street, Roma Street and Exhibition to service those communities.
More than just a rail project, Cross River Rail will enable an efficient ‘turn-up-and-go’ transport network, will stimulate urban development and generate 1,500 new jobs each year, including across the engineering, construction and infrastructure sectors.
Government support for Cross River Rail Project
The project is being strongly supported by the Queensland Government as one of the multi-billion dollar projects which can help protect the state from the impact of COVID-19. Queensland has announced a A$51.84 billion infrastructure guarantee to maintain state infrastructure investment over the next four years, as well as a range of other infrastructure initiatives.
Cameron Dick, Queensland’s Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, said the COVID-19 pandemic is a different kind of disaster, but the government’s focus remains on helping communities rebuild and keeping Queenslanders in work.
"We've seen through our recovery efforts following natural disasters that investing in infrastructure helps local economies bounce back faster."
CGC – Your recruitment partner
At CGC Recruitment, our specialist team of experienced consultants cover all major infrastructure, engineering and construction sectors. We help clients throughout Australia deliver their projects by attracting the best candidates and talent. This sector-driven focus gives CGC a strong understanding of the project lifecycles, government policy and economic considerations impacting our industry and the demand for skilled professionals.
To read our expert predictions for the infrastructure, architecture, property development, construction and engineering recruitment sectors in the coming financial year, and what it means for you, download our CGC in Focus Report.
CGC Recruitment helps complex, large-scale development projects – like Cross City Rail – to achieve the best outcomes through recruiting outstanding professionals. Our highly-motivated team of experienced consultants help clients and candidates connect with major projects by bringing in the best talent and opportunities.
Infrastructure projects: Australia's path to economic recovery, InTheBlack.com
CGC Editorial Note: This featured Project In Focus article was originally published last March 2019, and has been updated in line of the recent project developments.
Last published March 2019. Recently updated 15 September 2020.