Australian Construction Outlook – Transport Infrastructure

Australia is in the middle of our biggest ever transport infrastructure boom, featuring:

  • An unprecedented collection of big capital city projects (road and rail),
  • A ramping-up of urban renewal, maintenance and improvement programs (including arterial road upgrades and level crossing removal programs), and
  • A general improvement, on a less splashy scale, of regional works (including Inland Rail and ongoing, large scale upgrades on the Bruce, Pacific, and Princes Highways).

Transport-related construction over the coming year will, however, be impacted by drastic measures currently being adopted by Australia’s Governments, businesses and households, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Within this report we highlight a ‘working hypothesis’ regarding the potential magnitude and timing of the negative impact, based on clear assumptions and as much evidence as possible. Our initial estimates include a negative impact, over three quarters (June, September and December 2020). After December 2020, the impact becomes positive due to the re-starting of delayed work, and possible fiscal stimulus measures aimed at the construction sector.

In the long term, we expect transport construction work done to reach an unprecedented peak of over $26 billion (in 2017/18 prices) in 2022/23.