A new report by Master Builders Australia has revealed that transport infrastructure construction will underpin broader building and construction activity over the next four years.
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According to the June quarter of Master Builders' Building and Construction Industry Forecast, over the next four years, government investment in major transport infrastructure projects is forecast to outpace private investment in resources-related projects by a ratio of almost 2:1, particularly as $50 billion in major LNG project activity exits the pipeline.

"In terms of the value of work done, major public infrastructure projects are forecast to support growth in transport-related construction of 25.2% this year and rise to 33% in 2018," Matthew Pollock, national manager of wconomics and housing said.

"This surge in transport infrastructure construction couldn't come at a better time, with a forecast moderation in residential building activity predicted to commence in early 2018.

"However, new housing commencements this year are still expected to top 200,000, the third year in a row and, looking forward, new housing starts are forecast to average over 180,000 each year for the next four years," he said.

"This shows that despite some strong cyclical movements in some sectors of the industry, overall building and construction activity remains resilient with the value of work done forecast to reach $190 billion in 2017."

As a result of this industry outlook, Master Builders says the demand for skilled labour is forecast to create 120,000 new skilled jobs by 2020.

"However, it is imperative that the powers of the ABCC are maintained as we progress through this massive pipeline of publicly funded transport infrastructure projects to protect the community from being forced to pay up to 30% more due to thuggery, lawlessness and unlawful building union tactics," Pollock said.

Master Builders' Building and Construction Industry Forecasts provide a detailed industry outlook for the residential, non-residential (commercial) and civil (engineering) construction sectors nationally and for each state and territory. The 2017 June quarter can be found here.