Construction Industry in Australia
The construction industry in Australia is among the largest non-service industries in the country. This industry alone contributes around 9 per cent of Australia’s Gross Domestic Product. Generating about $360 billion in 2019, productivity in the industry is far from stagnant; every year, the construction sector grows by an average of 2.4 per cent. Steady growth is attributed to the increased construction activities in Australia and is expected to continue like this for at least the next five years.
Construction activities and revenue generated play a crucial role in the Australian economy. It’s not only a large GDP producer, but it also employs over 1.1 million Australians, both directly and indirectly – this fills a large gap in the labour market and gives millions a dependable livelihood. Also, the construction industry relies on many Australian suppliers to provide the necessary building materials, equipment, and tools, which contributes to the growth of local businesses.
Main Sub-Sectors of the Construction Industry
The construction business encompasses a wide variety of services and specialities, including building construction, renovation, maintenance and repair, demolition, site preparation, décor, surveying, and structural design. All these services are categorised into six main sub-sectors, which are:
- Building structure services
- Heavy and civil engineering
- Installation services
- Land development
- Residential and non-residential construction
- Site preparation
The construction industry is incredibly vast and diverse; this presents many lucrative and meaningful opportunities to entrepreneurs and contractors looking to serve the market. However, like any industry with so many sub-sectors, licencing and permits are highly specialised affairs. A single construction company may need an array of licences and permits to deliver the full range of its services.
Top 5 Construction Companies in Australia
Australia is home to well over 70,000 registered building and construction companies. Although the majority of these companies are local businesses, there are also some international players. We’ll only look at some of the most reputable and successful construction companies operating in Australia today. In no particular order, here are five of the biggest construction companies in Australia.
ADCO Constructions is one of the oldest construction companies in the country. Since its humble beginnings in 1972, this family-owned business has made remarkable leaps in the construction industry. Over the last nearly 50 years, the company has completed over 3,500 projects valued at a total of $14 billion, and their annual revenue is fast approaching the $1 billion mark.
ADCO Constructions employs more than 500 people and is listed among the top 100 private companies in Australia. The company does not discriminate between government, commercial, or private projects – they work directly on retail, business, federal construction projects, and also in conjunction with other construction companies.
Fulton Hogan Pty Ltd is an international company with headquarters in New Zealand but also operating in Australia and the South Pacific. The company is a family-owned business started in 1933, that besides construction, is also involved in mining, energy, communication, infrastructure development, and transport, among other ventures.
Fulton Hogan currently employs more than 8,000 workers in over 100 locations. Some of the company’s most notable and recent projects in Australia include the overlay of Adelaide Airport’s runway and taxiway, construction of the Arraw Dam in Cape York, and the Bentley Chemplax Redevelopment project.
Hutchinson Builders, also popularly known as Hutchies, is a family-owned construction company founded by Jack (I) Hutchinson in 1912. Since then, the company has grown to the largest privately-owned company in Australia.
According to the Hutchies’ 2019 financial report, the company made a profit of nearly $10 million in 2019 from a $2.8 billion turnover. Hutchinson Builders employs more than 1,800 staff, and on average complete about 300 construction projects annually.
CPB Contractors Ltd is an international construction company working across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India, and Papua New Guinea. The company rebranded to CPB Contractors in 2016 following their merger with Thesis Construction; otherwise, the company has been around since 1949. CPB Contractors is part of the CIMIC (Construction, Infrastructure, Mining and Concessions) group of companies.
The construction giant is mostly focused on civil engineering and construction projects. They also do a lot of mining and commercial construction work both within and outside Australian borders. The company was recently awarded a $433 million contract to deliver the Yanchep Rail Extension and METRONET project in west Australia.
John Holland was founded in 1948, and later taken over by Heytesbury Ltd in 1991, and by Leighton Holdings in 2000. The company switched hands again in 2015 when it fell to its current owner CCCI, an international subsidiary of CCCC (China Communications Construction Company).
Despite its somewhat turbulent history, John Holland is a formidable company in the construction industry. Although based in Australia, it also serves Southern Asia and New Zealand building and construction markets. John Holland is mostly keen on infrastructure construction and design – roads, rail, and airports. The company also takes on water, energy, and commercial projects.
The building and construction industry is one of the most influential economic hotspots in Australia. It may not be possible to capture the full picture of this industry in just a few words, but this article should at least give you an idea of the scope of this industry and its reach. This industry has nurtured small contractors into international construction companies, built careers and jobs, and gives a significant boost to the country’s economy.