November Market Update 2020

Australian Engineering Market Update – November/ December

Peopleconnexion’s Divisional Manager of Engineering, Paul Hansford, takes a look at a selection of projects to see how they are tracking and when they are likely to come on stream in Novemeber.

Civil Infrastructure

With both The federal and state governments keen to get infrastructure projects ‘shovel ready? a number of programs have been accelerated to help achieve this. There has been a number of decent sized projects recently awarded with a well as some further ones hitting the market at the moment.

Recently awarded QLD projects include

  • Gateway Motorway Upgrade – Jacobs/SMEC
  • Dohles Rocks Road –  Arup/HDR
  • Gold Coast Light Rail 3a – Aecom
  • Rockhampton Ring Road – Jacobs/SMEC
  • Townsville Ring Road – Aecom
  • Exit 49 Pacific Motorway – HDR/BG&E/Redfox Advisory
  • Cairns Ring Road – Jacobs/Aecom
  • Brisbane Metro – Arup

In addition we have a few more coming off of the rank and generating a lot of interest

  • Inland Rail PPP – Toowoomba to Kagaru sections
  • B2N ? Beerburrum to Nambour Rail Upgrade
  • Kangaroo Point Bridge
  • Coomera Connector
  • Centenary Bridge Upgrade
  • Bruce Highway

Overall the civil infrastructure/transportation space looks reasonably good and hopefully now we have the election behind us things will begin to look even more positive over the next few years.

Mining and Resources

As the market that didn’t take too much of a backward step through 2020, we are now starting to see a little bit of a quiet spell with many teams targeting Quarter 1, 2021 for the next boost of activity. With that being said, there are still a number of teams in QLD very busy behind closed doors.

With a number of smaller owners starting to gain momentum, some wider spread project activity should be ahead outside of the big miners. One of the big recent wins was Pembroke Resources? Olive Downs getting the green light.

Export facilities are also being carefully looked at for expansion as well as new sites considered with a recent forecast out of Asia stating demand for thermal coal on the continent will rise from 270Mt to over 1bn tonnes over the next decade.

Outside of coal, gold and copper are very hot for exploration with the price of gold ascending and the demand for copper continuously growing based on the demands of the technology and renewables industries.

Western Australia has maintained a very healthy market and looks to continue to do so heading into 2021. With a number of O&G projects halting in the West, many people are looking to transfer their skills to the mining sector.

QLD Projects to watch

  • While a polarising project, Adani’s Carmichael Project is in full flight and growing in momentum. ? Sojitz Blue is restarting Crinum operations.
  • Whitehaven Coal will have their EIS lodged for Winchester South this year to progress the $1bn project to its next stage.
  • Horizon Minerals were very happy with the feasibility study on the Julia Creek Vanadium mine edging closer to project phase.
  • The information coming out of the Isaac Plains underground development is that greater CHPP and port capacity are required so time will tell what we see here.

Along with Queensland based projects a number of international projects are being engineered in Australia including projects in PNG, SE Asia and South America with new project activity expected towards the middle of 2021.


Paul Hansford works for Peopleconnexion. He has worked in Brisbane for the last 10 years, having relocated from the UK. Paul along with his team provides a full suite of recruitment services within the engineering sector across all disciplines and all levels including civil, mechanical electrical, structural, process, rail, and water. Paul works with a range of consultancy clients across Transportation (road/rail/metro) as well as EPC and EPCM company’s involved in the design and delivery of greenfield and brownfield mining projects.

If you have any questions or are interested in exploring opportunities in the sector, contact Paul via email paul@peoplconnexion.com.

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