Strong project growth for Queensland, Australia

26 July 2019

Hampered in recent years by weak investment growth, the Queensland economy has seen a shift and is gearing up for strong project growth. In the next five years, Queensland will manage a major projects pipeline valued at USD 28.5bn. Already 67 per cent of the major projects value (USD 19bn) has secured funding and 89 per cent of funded projects are mega-projects with a value over USD 345m.

Let us look at four major projects areas in Queensland:

Improved infrastructure

Like much of Australia, a key challenge for Queensland the next years will be to ensure that infrastructure delivery keeps pace with the continued population growth. The state’s population is expected to reach 7.3 million by 2036, with most of the growth concentrated around Southeast Queensland.

Rail continues to offer the strongest outlook for development. From just USD 103m in 2018/19, major project work in rail is expected to balloon to USD 2.7bn by 2021/22, led by simultaneous work on Cross River Rail, Inland Rail and Brisbane metro, among other projects.

Learn how Höegh transported rail vehicles from Spain to Australia: Transporting breakbulk to improve Newcastle’s rail network

Strong growth in mining

In the wake of the mining downturn, the Australian mining industry has recovered to confirm its place as a major driver of its economy. Queensland will see strong mining expansion with upcoming developments in a diverse range of commodities, including coal, gold and copper; with many of these projects located in Northern Queensland.

Ongoing development in petroleum and gas

The rapid growth in Coal Seam Gas (CSG) production over the past 15 years has been driven by the development of Queensland’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export industry. In 2018-19, Australia’s LNG export earnings are estimated at USD 34.4bn, an USD 13bn (61 per cent) increase over the previous year – the largest increase of any commodity. Ongoing development of these CSG fields over the operational life of LNG facilities will require continual investment in related field infrastructure, including roads, pipelines, gas facilities and water.

Increase in water and sewage projects

There is also considerable opportunity for the development of water projects in Queensland to support regional communities, agriculture and industry. The Australian Government is investing more than USD 2bn to identify and build new water infrastructure to secure water supplies across the country.

In short, we are likely to enjoy solid growth in the Queensland project market the next five years


Teresa Lehovd is the Head of Market Intelligence at Höegh Autoliners. She holds over 30 years of experience in the RoRo shipping industry, whereof 20 years in various market research positions where she is specialised in the research of global automotive and heavy equipment industries. Teresa is also a guest lecturer at the Norwegian School of Management in the area of Competitive Intelligence and Shipping, and frequent speaker at various industry conferences.

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