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2 May 2023
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently reported a 2% increase in the seasonally adjusted value of total engineering construction work for the December 2022 quarter, reaching $25,158.8 million. Concurrently, the trend estimate experienced a 2.8% growth. According to Melissa Elf, ANZ Flight Centre Corporate Managing Director, large infrastructure projects are flourishing throughout Australia, with travel being a crucial aspect for construction firms.
Elf explained that the Federal Government is significantly investing in land transport infrastructure via its Infrastructure Investment Program. The combined value of these projects amounts to billions of dollars, presenting considerable opportunities for the construction sector. Examples include the $5 billion allocated for upgrading the Bruce Highway in Queensland (2022-23 to 2031-32), and substantial investments in the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport.
With the ongoing remarkable transformation in Australian infrastructure, managing and winning major construction and engineering projects necessitates hands-on involvement. Travel is vital for companies throughout the process, from tender submission to project handover. A nearly 30% increase compared to pre-COVID levels indicates that, despite challenges in the homebuilding sector, significant infrastructure projects and upcoming major events, such as the 2026 Victorian Commonwealth Games and the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, are driving the industry’s need for nationwide travel.
Furthermore, Elf emphasized that Australia is grappling with a labor shortage, with the construction industry being no exception. In light of these challenges, retaining and recruiting staff is more critical than ever, and travel plays an essential role. Attending meetings, events, conferences, and taking apprentices on site visits all necessitate air travel. For many in the construction industry, the requirement for travel is not discretionary but rather a necessity.