Tuesday, July 23, 2024

2024 Insights: Australian Construction & Infrastructure

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Blog | 18 Mar 2024

Adrian Hart

Head of Construction & Infrastructure Consulting, OE Australia

2024: Navigating Changing Infrastructure Priorities

Calendar 2024 marks a turning point in the construction and infrastructure industry in Australia. While construction activity is expected to fall slightly in aggregate terms, there is also a shift in infrastructure priorities from transport to utilities, social building and resources infrastructure which will present regional challenges. With a synchronised investment boom expected during the second half of this decade, market capacity challenges are likely to remain.

Read more in our recent blog on the 2024 infrastructure outlook for Australia.

2024: 60 years of analysis and forecasting for Oxford Economics Australia

2024 for Oxford Economics Australia holds a particular milestone. It marks the 60th year of continuous operations of Oxford Economics Australia (formerly BIS Shrapnel) in Australia since its beginnings as Philip Shrapnel and Co in 1964. Now part of the global Oxford Economics Group founded in 1981, Oxford Economics Australia continues to provide the best combination of market research, analysis, forecasting and advice for the construction and infrastructure industry and the broader economy. We understand the importance of the industry at the macro and microeconomic level and take the time to analyse the industry project by project (bottom up) but integrated with a view to macroeconomic (top down) constraints and risks.

Spotlight on Recent Projects

Rail Workforce Gap Analysis for National Transport Commission and ARA

The National Transport Commission (NTC) and the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) commissioned Oxford Economics Australia to update and extend quantitative rail workforce capability modelling last completed in 2018 and published in the ARA’s report ARA Skills Capability Study.

Austroads Workforce Capability Analysis and Strategies

Austroads has recently released the Australia and New Zealand Roads Capability Analysis 2022 – 2023 undertaken by Oxford Economics Australia. The analysis provides an estimate of the skills and capabilities required by Austroads member agencies to continue delivering their service objectives, identifies potential and emerging workforce capability gaps and provides agencies and related stakeholders with potential solutions to meet these gaps through future development, national training and capability initiatives. 

Estimating and Forecasting Cost Escalation on Desalination Projects

Oxford Economics Australia worked with an industry client to develop bespoke price indices that would better capture cost escalation for desalination projects (during construction and operations phases) than more generic published construction price indices – and the risk of using more generic indices in understating costs. Our analysis showed that using a generic construction price index rather than a bespoke desalination index could underestimate the cost of construction – as well as ongoing operations and maintenance – by more than 10%.

Market Research: Home Improvements Market in Australia 2023
A survey of 13,000 households investigates and reports across a range of home improvement projects undertaken across Australia during 2023 – and what households will bring on in 2024.

Project in Focus: Infrastructure Australia’s 2023 Market Capacity Report

The construction and infrastructure team at Oxford Economics Australia was proud to work with Infrastructure Australia for the third year in a row to help deliver the 2023 Infrastructure Market Capacity Report, which was publicly released in December 2023. This analysis provides the only nationally consistent quantification of infrastructure demands that derive from the known pipeline of projects. The report identified infrastructure market capacity risks and developed strategies to mitigate them, providing comprehensive insights into infrastructure market supply.

“The experienced team at Oxford Economics Australia always deliver to the highest standards and are great to work with. They are leaders in infrastructure market demand and supply analysis and throughout our engagement have always been prepared to go the extra mile to meet our requirements.”

Steve Brogan, Chief of Policy and Research, Infrastructure Australia
Product in Focus: Engineering Construction Forecasting Service

Oxford Economics Australia is the leading forecaster of the construction and infrastructure industry. We produce a range of services that provide detailed analysis and forecasts for every segment of Australia’s $235 billion construction sector.

Our Engineering Construction subscriber service has been relied upon to provide rigorous analysis and forecasts of the civil engineering construction market for nearly 40 years.

This service provides detailed forecasts each quarter for 12 sub-sectors of activity: roads, bridges, railways, harbours, water, sewerage, electricity, telecommunications, recreation, pipelines, mining and heavy industry, and other engineering construction by state and territory, by funding source and who does the work (public versus private sector). In our latest update we unpack the findings of the Independent Strategic Review and discuss what it means for the infrastructure outlook. Read the full executive summary here.

Conference Seats Going Fast…

Our bi-annual conference in Sydney, Melbourne and Online where we discuss the economic and construction industry outlooks is in March.

See here for the agenda and how to register. We look forward to seeing you there!


Adrian Hart

Head of Construction & Infrastructure Consulting, OE Australia

02 8458 4233

Adrian has over 23 years of economic analysis and consulting experience with Oxford Economics Australia, focusing on the infrastructure, building, maintenance and mining industries. Adrian has undertaken a wide range of consultancy projects for the public and private sector based on his detailed understanding of construction, mining and maintenance markets, their drivers and outlooks, the range of organisations operating in this space and the issues they face.

This work includes deeper industry liaison, contractor and competitive analysis, pipeline analysis, demand and cost escalation forecasting, and industry capacity and capability projects for the public and private sector. He is the lead author of major reports but also undertakes briefings and workshops for senior management, board members and industry associations, leads in-depth stakeholder consultation, and facilitates and chairs roundtables between government and industry.

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