QLD Transportation Market: The 2017 Form Guide

It’s been another strong year for the Transport market in Queensland, and whilst we are seeing a slight lull at the moment (mainly because of the uncertainty around funding due to state elections) there is plenty to be optimistic about.

As a recruitment expert specialising within the engineering field working closely with a number of the regions consultancies, we get access to some unrivalled insights. In our experience at the Peopleconnexion office, recruitment activity is always a great barometer of market conditions.

In the spirit of the Spring Carnival, we take a look at the field and some of the exciting activity across the state within the Transportation sector. 

Jacobs – One of the region’s powerhouses and always in the mix, whether it’s major projects or baseload work. Coming off of the back of some big project wins last year, this year saw KSD and GUN move into the construction phase, BHUP being delivered and the M1/M3 Gateway merge awarded.

They are also still heavily involved in the Brisbane Northern Apron Expansion, Business Case preparation for Brisbane Metro and a number of large transport planning projects throughout Queensland. 2017 has proved to be a good year for Jacobs’s Northern region. As they look to build a strong rail capability over the coming months, they will definitely be at the race next year too. Diverse, technically strong with an enviable pool of resources.


Arup –  It’s been another busy year for the Arup team. As Technical Advisors for Cross River Rail and Inland Rail, and with BHUP and Port Drive in final design stages. Arup is also on the shortlist for the $500m Haughton River Project in NQ. The Business Case is now completed for the Brisbane international Cruise Terminal and the first DDI to be designed and constructed in Australia is in the bag. They are also building strong capability on the Sunshine Coast, and in Townsville and Cairns. If there is a company that pushes the boundaries, challenges the norm and is continuously at the forefront of innovation its Arup. 


HDR ? Whilst they were Pipped at the post on R2D, this team is fast-building a great reputation in the region. The Haughton River Tender Design is in, they have been shortlisted for the tender design on the Smithfield project in FNQ and have an enviable amount of baseload work. With one of the best leadership teams in the business they are well connected, well respected and beginning to make their mark in the region. One to watch.


SMEC ? Out of the stalls very quickly this year with wins on LEP, the ICB upgrade as well as Design and CPS work on the GUN project. SMEC have been named as Technical Advisors for Inland Rail (alongside Arup). Now part of the Surbana Jurong Group, they have made some good strategic acquisitions especially in the regions over the last 12 months and still very strong in the advisory space as well as client representation. 


BG&E ? A great win for the BG&E team on the R2D project which has really helped catapult them into the major project space in Brisbane. Also shortlisted for the tender design on Cairns Smithfield Project and a good spread of work within the rail sector and urban development space. This team is on a mission, embracing the digital age and hell-bent on growing their reputation for high end design delivery.   


Aecom ? Still the team to beat in NQ and FNQ, Aecom have had a solid year in SEQ Queensland with good baseload work and some great transport planning projects. Awarded the design for Adani’s Carmichael rail project and shortlisted for the Haughton River project with the tender design winner being announced in Feb 2018. The rumour mill is strong at the moment and 2018 might be their year with some significant rail projects coming through. Watch this space.


Aurecon ? With T2RC design beginning to wind down the focus seems to be on client advisory at the moment where they are strong. Shortlisted for the Tender Design on the Smithfield bypass project and with one of the strongest rail teams in the region 2018 could prove to be very exciting for them. The rumour mill is again strong and the expectation is that they will be awarded some big rail projects imminently.


Pitt and Sherry ? Really beginning to build momentum in Queensland. With a team that has quadrupled in size over the last 12 months in Brisbane alone, they have brought in some smart people and gaining a reputation for being technically very strong. The go to team for temporary works design and construction engineering support within the transport space. A partner of choice for engineers and constructors. 


GHD – Teamed with SMEC on the LEP project, they also picked up Bruce Highway Cooroy to Curra and are involved in the design of the Mudgeeraba to Varsity Lakes upgrade project.  


A relatively quiet year for some of the other players in the QLD market. WSP|PB, Motts, Arcadis and KBR seem to have a lot on interstate, within transport, but have been fairly quiet in Brisbane particularly in the major project space. This may well change over the coming months with some of the above companies possibly coming up the inside after being touted as potential winners on some of the region’s rail work being released shortly.   


With Cross River Rail, Inland rail, Beerburrum to Nambour, Brisbane Metro coming out of the gates, as well as heavy haul projects in NQ on the horizon, the rail market is looking strong. Road construction looks steady and hopefully once funding is assured, there will be more projects coming to market early next year. The new international cruise ship terminal is another major project which is close to being awarded too.        

When it comes to staffing, hedging your bets simply won’t cut it. As with all successful companies, recruiting the right staff is instrumental in delivering good projects, building reputation and strengthening capability.  

If you are thinking about a career move and want to partner with a company that knows the market and the movers and shakers, please contact the PXR team. We not only understand the transport market intimately, we know the drivers, the cultures and the opportunities that exist with the clients we deal with. We won’t put round pegs in square holes, after all it’s your career.   

Contact Paul Hansford via paul@peopleconnexion.com or on (07) 3333 1511.

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