Now that lockdowns are slowly starting to ease in most Australian states and territories, the construction industry is looking ahead to where the work is going to be.
Hard state border closures are still in place for Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory, so while exemptions for construction workforce may be possible, looking for local opportunities remains a priority.
Fortunately, a range of measures including direct funding injections and fast-tracked approval processes have seen more projects nearing shovel-ready state in every jurisdiction—here are some to keep on your radar:
The Victorian Government has set up the Building Victoria’s Recovery Taskforce. This dedicated taskforce will help keep the state’s building and development industry running. The State Government has also announced the approval of four new projects worth more than $1.5 billion dollars.
Beulah International’s Southbank Tower at 118 City Road will be a mixed-use precinct with apartments, commercial office space and an “urban resort.” At 555 Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD, Charter Hall has gained approval for a 35-level, premium-grade office tower while Dexus has had the redevelopment of a commercial office site at 60 Collins Street approved. Meanwhile, Pace Development has the green light for its planned $80 million multi-res tower at the Flemington Racecourse.
New South Wales
In New South Wales, Sydney projects that are expected to be breaking ground in the coming months include a Railway Deck Upgrade for the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. The tender is currently open for civil works, track works, overhead wiring, drainage, signalling, testing and commissioning.
A tender has also gone out for Expressions of Interest for the new $20 million Sydney International Speedway at Western Sydney Parklands.
The state government’s major projects planning portal also shows several projects in the final stages of the planning approval process. These include the new Sydney Fish Markets, the massive Harbourside retail and leisure precinct, and Sydney Metro West.
Major regional projects getting underway include the Snowy 2.0 hydro project in the Snowy Mountains and a four-tower residential development in Gosford, designated a State Significant Development.
The ACT Government has announced a funding injection for a wide range of small projects across civil, landscaping and minor upgrades to support small and medium-sized construction businesses.
It is also progressing steadily with the newest master-planned city centre, Whitlam, having recently issued the call for builders and trades to contribute to the building of the display village. The next stage of the ACT light rail from the Canberra CBD to Woden is also taking shape, and the tender is currently open for the project’s Advisory Services Panel.
South Australia has fast-tracked approval of shovel-ready projects across infrastructure and general construction. Renewal SA is providing a substantial pipeline of work across residential, commercial, public spaces, infrastructure, leisure, landscape, and marinas.
Some of the specific projects include a major multi-residential infill project at Bowden, the ongoing transformation of the Tonsely precinct, the redevelopment of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital site, Adelaide Festival Plaza, and a substantial renewal program across SA Housing Trust social housing properties.
The NT government is subsidising small residential upgrade and improvement works to ensure trades businesses can stay afloat. Defence Housing Australia is also generating construction activity, for instance, a current tender for the design and construction of multiple houses in Katherine East.
There’s also a job coming up that will suit adventurous types, with the Commonwealth National Parks putting out a tender for the design of new amenities at Kakadu Park.
Infrastructure projects will be delivering a steady flow of work across the state. The Major Projects Pipeline Report prepared by the Queensland Major Contractors Association (QMCA) and the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ) shows $27.4 billion of funded major project work will be underway between now and the 2023/24 financial year.
Highlight projects include the $5 billion Brisbane Cross River Rail and Inland Rail, both fully funded through a mixture of federal and state funding. Early works are already underway on the Cross River Rail, and further works packages are expected to commence before the end of 2020.
There are other opportunities available, for example, a suite of water infrastructure projects including new dams and dam upgrades and new works packages as part of the Bruce Highway upgrade.
A number of private sector major projects are likely to become active in the near future. These include the next stage of Mirvac’s Waterfront Newstead community in Brisbane, a 25-storey residential tower, and the State Development Corporation and White & Partners Sydney $450 million mixed-use Toowong Town Centre.
InvestLogan and Alder Developments have received development approval to proceed with Beenleigh’s first major commercial office development in a decade, The York.
Tourism WA’s Major Projects Development Map shows multiple projects getting underway in Perth and Fremantle, including the tourism and hospitality precinct at Elizabeth Quay. Another multi-use project on a grand scale in the city is Riverside at Perth’s eastern gateway which will comprise residential, commercial and public space. Further parts of the Perth City Link are also set to break ground.
The Western Australian government is also proceeding with the multi-million-dollar New WA Museum.
The City of Perth also has a number of projects in the pipeline like the revitalisation of East End, the proposed Northbridge Entertainment Precinct, and the Wellington Square improvement project.
There are several University projects that will be providing steady work in Tasmania, including the University of Tasmania Northern Expansion in Launceston and the UTAS Medical Science Precinct in Hobart. The State Government has also allocated $179 million for education projects across the state, including two new schools, four major school redevelopments, and six new Child and Family Learning Centres.
Further planning work is also underway for the state’s largest megaproject—the Battery of the Nation pumped hydro project and Marinus Link. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Federal Government have both contributed to the feasibility studies for the development, which is likely to deliver thousands of jobs during the construction and commissioning phase. Hydro Tasmania has already been undertaking pilot pumped hydro works to support the feasibility case for the project.