April 04, 2019
Roads are often taken for granted, but they are some of the most integral pieces of infrastructure that enable society to function and prosper. Roads connect us to work, education, healthcare and other essential services, business opportunities, leisure, and so much more. Roads are essentially the conduits for life and without them virtually all activity would cease. Due to the importance of roads and the irreplaceable value that they bring to society and the economy, roads have been a key area for government investment on both a federal and state level. Federal and state investment into extending and improving Australia’s road network is only expected to continue to grow in the future, as the rising population and increased economic activity will create extra pressure on the existing road network. Government spend on the upgrade and development of our roads will be essential for improving commuter safety, supporting Australia’s projected growth, improving efficiency and enabling progress to occur.
Factors Driving Road Works in Australia: Population Growth Within the next 10 years, the population of Australia is expected to grow by 5 million people. This population growth holds enormous economic potential for the country, however if it is not properly planned for, the population surge can have very negative effects. If road infrastructure is not developed to accommodate this rapid population growth, the added pressure on Australia’s existing road networks will cause major congestion. Congestion is a significant issue to be avoided, as it impedes productivity due to the time lost in transit and the associated de-motivation.
Increased Economic Activity & Spreading Economic Growth
By 2026, experts predict that domestic freight will grow by 26 per cent. This increased freight activity will require better and more connected road systems, in order for the freight to reach its destination on time and within budget. Road works will also help to stabilise Australia’s economic growth, as the improved connectivity will provide more areas with the opportunity to develop and become a hub for economic activity. Expanding Australia’s road network will help reduce our economic reliance on CBDs and urban areas, and allow wealth to be generated in more regional/rural communities.
Safeguarding The Construction Industry
The construction industry is important for the Australian economy, as it contributes significantly to the GDP and employs a sizeable portion of the population. Without continued investment into construction projects, such as road and rail, this sector would decline and major job loss would occur. Creating a pipeline of construction projects, particularly in civil construction, will help safeguard the industry for years to come and facilitate the retention of a skilled workforce.
Major Road Works in Australia
Across Australia, there are a number of road works currently in progress or in the process of being rolled out. These projects involve the development, maintenance and upgrade of these vital road structures in both urban and regional/rural areas. A government initiative dedicated to building and improving Australia’s road systems is the Roads to Recovery Program. Under the Roads to Recovery Program, the government will provide $4.8 billion from the 2013-2014 financial year to the 2021-2022 financial year. The aim of the funding is to ‘facilitate greater access for Australians and improved safety, economic and social outcomes’, by financially supporting the maintenance of local roads. This funding is to be distributed to Australia’s state and territory governments, as well as local councils, responsible for local roads. The proportion of the funding will be allocated according to a formula based on population and road length.
Another government investment scheme aimed at improving the condition of our roads, is the Roads of Strategic Importance (ROSI) initiative. The ROSI initiative is focused on making evidence-based investment decisions that prioritise the creation of long-term benefits. Over the next decade, the ROSI initiative will invest $3.5 billion into improving the efficiency and productivity of key freight roads, and providing ‘better connections between agricultural regions and ports, airports and other transport hubs and better access for tourism, mining and other sectors’.
It is clear through these government initiatives that building on and improving Australia’s road networks is a high priority. Road infrastructure is vital for keeping Australia moving, not only now, but well into the future.
Some of the most prominent road works currently taking place or have been proposed, include the following:
- Pacific Motorway (M1) Varsity Lakes to Tugun Upgrade (QLD)
- Bringelly Road Upgrade (NSW)
- North East Link (VIC)
- Bruce Highway Upgrade (QLD)
- Armadale Road Upgrade (WA)
- Outback Way (NT)
- NorthConnex (NSW)
- Mackay Ring Road (QLD)
- Midland Highway (TAS)
Employment In Road Works
Naturally, the increase in road projects has created new job opportunities across Australia. It is predicted that the pipeline of road works will create approximately 50,000 jobs in the next decade. The bulk of the jobs that have become available are civil construction roles, such as:
- General Labourers
- Skilled Labourers
- Tipper Drivers
- Loader Operators
- Excavator Operators
- Road Roller Operators
- Pipe Layers
- Traffic Controllers
- Safety Officers
- Trades Assistants, etc.
The surge in employment generated by the increase in road works is especially beneficial for regional and rural communities with planned road projects, as it will help bring more income to local economies. Jobs created as a result of increased road construction projects will help to improve the quality of life for regional/rural Australians, bring greater stability, and elevate the nation as a whole. With a number of road works projects still in the pipeline all across Australia, road works will continue to be a fruitful source of employment for civil construction workers in the foreseeable future.
At Workfast Labour Hire, we are the experts in providing labour hire staff for civil construction projects, such as road and rail. We have an extensive database of labour hire workers that possess a variety of skills and experiences you may require. So, whatever labour hire staff you need and wherever you need them, we can help you out. Workfast Labour Hire allows you to scale your team up or down depending on the needs of your civil construction project, to help you get the job done on time and on budget. To get started with us and quickly connect with high quality civil construction labour hire workers, call 1300 824 403 or complete our online Labour Hire Staff Request Form today!