Industry Profile

The building and construction industry in Western Australia plays a significant role in the economic prosperity of the State. The building and construction industry currently employs about 130600 people, or almost 11 per cent of all Western Australians. It is the second largest employer behind the health and social assistance sector. The building and construction industry contributes directly to the economic growth and living standards of Western Australians, including those in regional areas. In recent years, there has been a large increase in trade apprenticeship training, with the industry currently employing about 40 per cent of Western Australia's 7900 apprentices.

Due to the strength of its resources sector, the State leads national construction activity alongside Queensland. This is despite having a significantly smaller population and associated residential building sector than New South Wales and Victoria. Builders in the residential and nonresidential sectors are also anticipating a significant rise in activity due to positive trends in the State's economic drivers, such as strong population growth and low unemployment. Increasing electricity costs and an increased awareness of the energy consumption of new buildings has led to a greater emphasis on efficient practices and materials in recent years.

Fact file

• Building and construction industry's annual output: A$19.9 billion
• Employment: 10.9% of State workforce
• Training: 40% of State's apprentices
• In 2011-12 about 18 000 -19 000 dwellings are expected to commence development.

Investment and Trade opportunities

Western Australia is internationally recognized for its high quality, value for money residential building practices. Double brick and tile construction is the industry norm. Its construction sector is also renowned for the scale and specialisation of the projects it produces, particularly those catering to the resources industry. The landmark Goldfields Water Supply Scheme Pipeline and Dam Project was honoured as an international engineering landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers, placing it alongside the Panama Canal and Golden Gate Bridge in significance. Future generations will likely marvel at infrastructure such as the North West Shelf Gas Processing Precinct, Dampier-to-Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline, and other projects yet to come, like the Oakajee Port and Rail Development. This positive economic outlook, along with strong population growth forecasts, is creating many property development and investment opportunities.

Foreign companies have full opportunity to bid for new building and construction work. There are particularly strong possibilities for new work in the massive resources sector expansions. Foreign companies have had significant recent success in winning work in Western Australia. For example, South Korea's GS Engineering and Construction won the A$2.9 billion construction contract for the Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers Plant near Collie and Amercian firm KBR was awarded a contract for engineering, procurement and construction management for the Hope Downs 4 Iron Ore Mine.

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Invest in the West: Infrastructure

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