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Billions of dollars’ worth of major infrastructure projects, either under construction or in the planning stage, are rapidly changing the face of Brisbane and Queensland. Bringing together public and private sector expertise in successful partnerships, the city and the state’s myriad transport, energy, health and education infrastructure projects present a wealth of opportunity for investors to tap into this critical sector of Brisbane’s growing economy.
Historically, the construction industry, particularly engineering construction, has been a significant component of Queensland’s economy. Over the past decade, engineering construction completed has grown fivefold from $7.5 billion in 2003 to $38 billion in 2013 in real terms. This growth has been primarily driven by massive investments in Queensland’s energy and resources sector and the need to build community and economic infrastructure to cater for strong population growth in Brisbane and throughout Queensland (Source: Queensland Major Contractors Association and Construction Skills Queensland, 2014 Major Projects Report: Queensland Engineering Construction Outlook).
Brisbane has a well-established infrastructure network and solid plans for the future. With a population of two million, Brisbane is the principal centre of Australia’s fastest-growing region, South East Queensland. By 2031, Brisbane’s population is expected to increase to more than 3 million (Source: Office of Economic and Statistical Research, Queensland Treasury, medium series).
The economic hub and driver of the Queensland economy, Brisbane’s economy is forecast to grow by more than 60 per cent from $135 billion today to $217 billion by 2031, driving demand for investment in physical and community infrastructure to serve the city’s ever-growing needs (Source: Brisbane City Council, Economic Development Plan 2012-2031).
With a strong vision for the future, the Brisbane City Council and Queensland Government’s long-term commitment to invest in critical infrastructure continues to transform the city and the state, with the ongoing delivery of new road, tunnel and rail links to support the competitiveness of industry and business. Queensland’s average infrastructure spend from 2000 to 2010 was 75% higher than the average of other states and territories combined at $1021 per capita (Source: Queensland Infrastructure Plan, 2011).
With the significant increase in demand for coal and liquefied natural gas from both China and India, continued development of Queensland’s energy and resources sector is creating a requirement for extra port and rail capacity and the need for key infrastructure developments across water, energy and communications.
In Brisbane, government at all levels is committed to establishing and maintaining partnerships with the private sector to ensure the success of major infrastructure projects. With substantial investments in mining and infrastructure planned for Brisbane, there is ample opportunity for international infrastructure contractors with the procurement and delivery option. Public Private Partnerships provide incentives for innovation in the design, construction, operation and management of substantial project investments.
The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program will deliver $18.1 billion in transport infrastructure across local, state and national networks over the next four years (Source: Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program 2014-15 to 2017-18).
Ongoing investment in road infrastructure is paramount to reducing congestion and upgrading key freight and commercial routes. Future road projects include:
Rail plays an important part in the resources industry supply chain. Queensland is benefiting from major investment in rail projects from the public and private sector. Future rail projects include the $5 billion Underground Bus and Train (Source: Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads, 2014).
Brisbane Airport, situated 12km from the CBD, is fast becoming a premier aviation hub in the Asia Pacific region. Brisbane Airport operates curfew-free and offers around-the-clock capacity. In 2013, Brisbane Airport Corporation began construction of a new parallel runway as part of a $1.3 billion infrastructure investment.
Queensland energy consumption grew at a strong 2 per cent over 2012-13 to reach 1326PJ or 23 per cent of Australia’s total energy consumption (Source: Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, Australian Energy Statistics, 2014).
Demand continues to increase, due largely to the growing number of projects in high energy-consuming industries such as metals, mining, oil and gas. To keep pace with demand, new and improved infrastructure and at least 341 megawatts of new generation is required each year (Source: Australian Energy Market Operator, 2011). Queensland is also pursuing a greener future, with a focus on the areas of low-emission coal technology, gas, solar, wind, biomass, hydro, and geothermal.
With more than $73 billion worth of resources and energy projects under construction in Queensland, there is limited capacity within the current construction industry to meet all future demands for new or expanded infrastructure (Source: Deloitte Access Economics, Investment Monitor, September 2014). This means more opportunities for construction companies looking to grow new markets and, as Queensland’s capital, Brisbane provides the ideal base from which to service this demand.
An ageing population and advances in medical technology are increasing opportunities in the areas of health infrastructure. In 2014-15 Queensland Helath will invest $1.55 billion in capital with a number of major hospital and health facilities planned for construction in 2014-15 (Queensland Government, State Budget 2014-15).
With $411.7 million in education infrastructure planned for 2013-14, it is clear that government at all levels has committed to investing in education infrastructure in Brisbane and across Queensland (Source: Queensland Government, State Budget 2014-15).
The Kurilpa Riverfront – Brisbane City Council and the Queensland Government are working together on the Kurilpa Riverfront Renewal project to facilitate the renewal of prime riverfront industrial land in South Brisbane. This unique catalyst for renewal precinct comprises about one kilometre of river frontage and more than 25ha of land, presenting a renewal opportunity on a scale not seen by the city since the 1990s.
Queen’s Wharf Brisbane – In 2013, the Queensland Government announced the issue of a new casino licence for Brisbane, and the once-in-a-generation opportunity to redevelop a unique precinct, known as Queen’s Wharf Brisbane, in the heart of Brisbane’s CBD.