Major Economic Report Shows Mitigated Mining Construction Slowdown


A 2017 Economic Forecast released by Consult Australia revealed that Government investment in infrastructure has helped to mitigate against the impact of stalled mining construction.

Figures in the report for engineering, architectural and surveying consultancy firms, showed that while the share of work relating to heavy industry dropped last year below the previous decade’s, average [42.7% to 40.9%] work on roads and highways increased [16.3% to 19.7%] softening the impact.

Consult Australia Chief Executive Megan Motto said continued increases in population, combined with a recognised need to transition from a resource-led to knowledge-based economy, has seen governments invest in ways to efficiently connect people and products to markets through infrastructure.

"This has led to a healthy pipeline of public sector projects which has in turn helped mitigate against the impact of mining construction slowdown and enabled our sector to contribute significantly towards Australia’s continued economic growth," she said.

The forecast produced by Australian Construction Insights covers domestic and international economic conditions, population dynamics, construction sector conditions and consulting industry forecasts up to 2021.

“With historically low bond rates and triple-A credit rating increasing access for governments to finance future projects, confidence is returning and our sector has an optimistic outlook in the short term," Ms Motto said.

The report included the following highlights:

  • The number of consulting firms in the built environment increased by 1.5% to 49 900 in the last 12 months of which consulting engineering makes up two thirds.
  • NSW is ranked first in the non-residential construction sector relative to its own long-term average.
  • Work done in the non-residential construction sector totalled $36.33 billion in the year prior to September 2016 with the short-term prospect for building activity strong in offices, factories, warehouses, agriculture / aquaculture, and short term accommodation.
  • The pipeline of engineering construction work yet to be done is $68.63 billion as at the end of 2016. The short-term prospect of building activity in this sector is strong in roads, highways and subdivisions; water storage and supply, sewerage and drainage; and recreation.
  • The pipeline of work yet to be done on projects that have already commenced on roads, highways and subdivisions is worth $18.81 billion at the end of 2016, some 66.3 per cent higher than 12 months earlier.
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