A MID-YEAR update to the Queensland Major Projects Pipeline report has shown that state revenue from major construction projects is expected to rise by 140 percent by 2021.
The report, released by the Queensland Major Contractors Association (QMCA), Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) and the Infrastructure Association of Queensland (IAQ), suggests that public infrastructure and local procurement preferences will deliver a major boost to Queensland’s economy over the next five years.
It also confirmed that the increased number of civil construction workers recruited during the mining construction boom period between 2003 and 2013 meant demand could be met if projects do not suffer serious delays or obstructions.
The first of its kind in Australia, the report detailed a five-year pipeline and forecast of both public and private sector engineering projects in excess of $50 million across Queensland. The half yearly report update identified the need for continuous access to up-to-date information. Its authors said the infrastructure industry’s outlook could change quickly, based on whether or not a major project was on track.
QMCA president Iain Ward said he was pleasantly surprised by the findings.
“Things are really looking up for Queensland,” Mr Ward said.
“I’m encouraged by the mid-year results and look forward to seeing further improvements as new opportunities are identified and funded.
“I’m also excited by the progress some of our larger projects are making, such as Inland Rail, Cross River Rail and Adani that are all great wins for the state.
“Now what we need is surety so we don’t lose momentum,” he said.
“Our industry is closely tied to Queensland’s economy so we’re vulnerable to a range of external factors. As well as influences such as commodity prices and the Australian dollar, there’s also the very real threat of damaging global trade sanctions, which have the potential to be devastating.
“We need to build a sustainable industry that is confident and resilient to political change which means making a commitment to future projects and securing funding in a more timely manner.”
IAQ CEO, Steve Abson, said funding announcements for major projects had improved the outlook for the infrastructure sector, and members were reporting more confidence in Queensland.
“The biggest challenge we now face is the ability of all levels of Government – Federal, State and Local – to commit to future project funding,” Mr Abson said.
“There are some significant projects in the pipeline, particularly for regional Queensland, and considerable question marks over how they will be funded.”
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said since the original report was launched in April, the value of the major funded Queensland engineering construction projects had increased.
“Specifically, funded work in the pipeline has increased by 17 percent to $25.1 billion, work under construction has lifted 19 percent to $19.6 billion and announced work has increased 47 percent to $3.9 billion,” Mr Schimming said.
“While it has been a difficult transition from the sharp falls which followed the historic highs reached in 2012/13, increased funded and committed projects have reduced the risks to the industry and it would appear the worst has now passed for Queensland.”
Mr Schimming said the outlook for Queensland’s construction workforce continued on the path outlined in the April report with the civil construction workforce expected to focus on delivering public infrastructure for the next few years.