Construction Trends Western Australia
Construction is an integral part of life in Western Australia. It constitutes a large part of the economy and employs over 350 000 people. Western Australia is particularly dependent on mining. In this state, the mining industry feeds the construction industry and vice-versa. Current boosts in WA mining have meant good things for construction in the state. Let’s see where things currently lie.
Where Things Stand
When the global financial crisis struck in 2008, nobody could have anticipated the consequences. The United States and Britain were badly hit, and both countries are currently struggling with wounded construction industries that show no signs of improving.
Things faired a little better for Australians. Massive investments from the state and from private companies managed to steer the construction industry on the right path and avoid total disaster. In fact, Australia is experiencing a healthy recovery from the crisis, and many states are reporting good growth statistics.
Western Australia, like South Australia and Victoria, is experiencing slight contractions in construction productivity. There has been a 25% reduction in apprenticeship commencements. Out of that 25%, only 41% are immediately employed by construction companies. Overall, there has been a 10% dip in general construction employment rates. These figures, experts stress, are not as bad as they sound. Many analysts find these statistics quite healthy in light of the general aftermath of the global financial crisis.
Short term statistics reveal some hope on the horizon. In the last 12 months, the Western Australian construction industry actually grew by 4.2%. This means that in spite of the contractions in the employment stakes, the outlook for WA construction seems good.
Engineering and Heavy Machinery
While the value of residential construction has grown by 2.92%, the sectors reliant on heavy machinery and engineering have skyrocketed. Value has increased by 58% in these areas, dwarfing the national average of 12.9%. The flourishing mining industry could be attributed to these impressive figures. There are also a range of major construction projects on the go in WA, which have also given local construction a massive boost.
Major Construction Projects in WA
Many of the most lucrative and ambitious construction projects in the state are linked to the extraction of natural resources. These endeavours look set to increase employment and wealth in the state for the coming years.
An example is the Gorgon LNG Project, which seeks to extract natural gas from beneath the ocean floor. It is to be built on Barrow Island, 70km off the coast off the Pilbara Coast. This is undoubtedly one of Australia’s biggest industrial endeavours. Similarly, the Wheatstone LNG Project aims to mine natural gas 200km North of Onslow. This private-operated project will create 6500 jobs in the area, as well as generate over 17 billion dollars in value. Another LNG project, called the Hess Equus Development, will target natural gas in the North Carnavon Basin. All of these projects will involve the construction of resilient undersea pipelines. They will undoubtedly be the most challenging projects for engineers based in WA.
Right now, there is a skills shortage in WA. This means that companies are desperate for skilled tradespeople – electricians, plumbers and others – to replace those who left construction in favour of the more lucrative mining sector. If you think you have what it takes to succeed as a building contractor in WA, browse the web and find your niche.