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Australian News Update 25th February 2019

Posted by: Paul Harris
Industry News

Rail construction set to boom

Melbourne has received the first of four tunnel boring machines (TBMs) which look set to trigger a boom of rail construction in the area. The TBMs, which are being sent over from Germany, operate as moving factories and will travel beneath the city’s surface. They will burrow though rock and soil along the path of two nine-kilometre tunnels.

The work is part of the $11bn Melbourne Metro Project and looks set to generate 7,000 jobs and enable half a million extra passengers to use the city’s rail network each week.

The Metro project is a key part of an eight-year program which will see massive rail construction developments across South-East Australia. And Victoria isn’t the only state reaping the benefits: in New South Wales the North West Rail Link is now mostly complete and a lot of work is still planned as part of the Sydney Metro project.

The rail building boom has caught the eye of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ASIF) which says it expects spend to almost double from $8.873bn in 2017/18 to $14.437bn in 2020/21.

“Many of these projects were foreshadowed as a high priority by Infrastructure Australia,” explained ACIF lead forecaster Kerry Barwise. “It has taken time for them to come through to the point where they have been funded and are now coming through as actual construction projects.” Full story.

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Game-changing Queensland infrastructure spend in the works

A new deal to see government spending and infrastructure projects to one of Australia’s more popular investment locations has been called a “game-changer” for the region. In a joint press release the Prime Minister and Alan Tudge (Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population) have announced the creation of the South East Queensland (SEQ) City Deal, which will see increased government spending and infrastructure projects.

“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward in making sure the people of South East Queensland get the most out of living in this beautiful region,” explained Tudge. “South East Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population and is expected to accommodate 5.3 million people within 25 years’ time.”

City Deals have been written up for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, while Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Darwin and Geelong are in the works.

Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council of Australia commented: “Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world with fast-growing cities which are magnets for talent, investment and jobs. There is a ‘good growth’ dividend for our cities – better productivity, more economic opportunities, and a better quality of life for residents. City Deals help to drive good growth and create great Australian cities for everyone.” Full story.

Sydney Metro West – latest updates

We recently reported on the Sydenham/Bankstown developments and now mappings of geotechnical investigations for the Sydney Metro West project have provided more insight into where stations are likely to be built for the driverless, single-deck trains. The Sydney Morning Herald has dissected the information and speculated on key locations, which can be seen here.

Possible locations include North Strathfield, Concord West, Pyrmont, Kings Bay, North Burwood, and Camellia.

If elected on March 23rd, Labor leader Michael Daley has vowed to spend $8bn to fast-track the project. “Our hope is that we will get it done more quickly,” explained Daley. “These projects can be delivered much more quickly if you have a big upfront injection.” Full story.

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