The Queensland Major Contractors Association’s Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report has recently been unveiled, providing a comprehensive analysis of the state’s medium-term major infrastructure projects and the current market landscape. The report, a collaborative effort between the Queensland Major Contractors Association, Construction Skills Queensland, and Oxford Economics, is now in its 12th edition.

The report paints a promising picture for Queensland’s engineering construction sector, predicting a strong surge in project activity despite the ongoing economic hurdles. It reveals a 29 per cent year-on-year growth, with the current five-year pipeline now standing at a record $92 billion. The report also highlights a significant increase in funded projects to $57 billion, fuelled by substantial investments in utilities and mining across the state’s key regions.

Looking ahead, the funded projects for the next few years are expected to average between $10.5-12 billion per year, with the peak of funded activity projected for the 2026/27 financial year. However, the report also draws attention to the challenges of high unfunded activity, with a forecasted peak in 2026/27, stressing the need for strategic funding and financing solutions to maintain momentum.

Andrew Chapman, CEO of Queensland Major Contractors Association, highlighted the significant growth within the industry. “The next half-decade will be pivotal as we tackle the complexities of cost, capacity, and productivity to deliver on Queensland’s $92 billion project pipeline,” he stated.

Chapman noted that the diversity of work in the pipeline is extensive and spans multiple sectors, from transport to water and energy transition infrastructure and mineral resource developments. He added, “A diversified project portfolio ensures sustainable growth and stability for Queensland’s economy. It is also very encouraging to see that the proportion of credibly funded projects has grown, providing certainty for asset owners, the industry and our supply partners who will support projects across Queensland.”

Chapman also touched on the role of the public sector, which continues to fund over half of the total pipeline activity. He highlighted the increased investment from the private sector in renewables, energy and resources projects, but also stressed that more can be done to streamline the planning and approval process to boost private sector investment in Queensland.

However, the outlook for major projects varies significantly by region. Compared to 2022, funded work has declined by 23 per cent in the Ipswich-Toowoomba-Logan region and 33 per cent in Darling Downs-Maranoa, while increasing in all other areas. Wide Bay and Townsville have seen the highest growth in pipeline-funded work at 497 per cent and 196 per cent respectively.

Despite these positive trends, the construction industry faces significant challenges, particularly in terms of labour shortages. Geoff Clare, Acting CEO of Construction Skills Queensland, warned that the projected increase in construction activity would further strain an industry already grappling with labour shortages.

Clare said, “The significant projected uplift in the construction industry in Queensland will push labour demand to record levels. With shortages in construction already prevalent across all occupations, the industry’s struggle to find workers will intensify.”

In order to successfully complete the state’s $92 billion pipeline, the Queensland Major Contractors Association is advocating for increasing capacity, enhancing skills and technology adoption, and managing cost escalation risks. They are also encouraging the use of innovative and sustainable construction techniques and collaborative procurement strategies.

This is an exciting time for Queensland’s engineering construction sector and for businesses that provide essential services such as Forklift Servicing Sydney or offer Toyota Forklift and other equipment for hire or repair. The strong growth predicted in this sector presents numerous opportunities for businesses to expand their service offerings and contribute to these major projects.