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Transport infrastructure wave to spur construction higher


The impending rollout of major government-led transport infrastructure will be good news for thousands of small construction businesses across Australia, according to newly-released forecasts from Master Builders Australia.

Shane Garrett, Master Builders Chief Economist said, “Our Master Builders Australia Forecasts: 2019/20 to 2023/24 report released today indicates that engineering and civil construction activity is set to expand strongly until 2021/22, notching up its strongest performance since the mining investment boom at the beginning of the decade.”

“As a result of record activity in natural resources investment, the volume of engineering construction had peaked at $142.8 billion in 2012/13. The subsequent slump was heavy, involving a 38.6% reduction in activity,” he said.

“While latest data indicate that engineering construction activity has still been battling tough conditions, the eventual roll out of government-led infrastructure projects will see growth return in the near future,” Shane Garrett said.

“We forecast that the volume of engineering construction work will expand by 12.5% by 2021/22 compared with 2018/19. Thereafter, activity will ease back at the pipeline of infrastructure work comes to an end,” he said.

“Both road and railway construction work will see big gains over this period, while the completion of the NBN means that telecommunications related activity will slip back,” Shane Garrett said.

“At the moment, the actual volume of construction work underway is smaller than it was this time last year. While our forecasts do envisage growth returning, government can help by getting things moving on the ground with more urgency. There is particularly strong scope for this when it comes to small and medium-sized infrastructure projects,” he said.

“As well as benefitting thousands of small building and construction businesses across Australia, a speedier roll out of infrastructure projects by government would give the wider public real and visible evidence that our economy continues to move forward,” Shane Garrett said.

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