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.
Master Builders Chief Economist Shane Garrett said that their Master Builders Australia
Forecasts: 2019/20 to 2023/24 report released this week 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,” Mr Garrett 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.
“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.
“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,” Mr Garrett concluded.