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Mining & Resources

Public infrastructure needs could boost engineering investment

6 Feb 2014, by Informa Insights

Gordon LNGPublic infrastructure in Australia is due an overhaul, which could provide a much-needed boost for the country’s engineering sector.

That is the upshot of a new report by Deloitte, as the company examined the state of the economy in the final quarter of 2013.

According to the firm, public infrastructure has been in the headlines frequently over the last few months as the new federal government puts the issue front and centre of its political aims.

This has included tasking the Productivity Commission with examining major infrastructure projects and considering ways to fund or finance these initiatives.

Organisations such as the Reserve Bank of Australia, Infrastructure Australia and the Business Council of Australia have all joined the debate.

“That the state of Australia’s creaking urban infrastructure is stirring the passions of Australian policymakers gives hope that a more efficient system of identifying, assessing, financing and constructing public infrastructure may be in store,” Deloitte explained. “That outcome would be more than welcome.”

As a whole, the company said Australia experienced mixed economic data in the December quarter, with the growth outlook predicted to be below trend for this year.

Figures showed mining and engineering spend remained relatively flat over the last 12 months, representing a stall that could mark the beginnings of a decline.

Oil_Gas_Economics_P13GR28WEBPDF-1“The impending peak in resource-related investment spending has been well documented, and there were few signs of any reprieve in recent months,” the report said.

A further $2 billion cost blowout on the Gordon LNG project was announced in December, and no other LNG initiatives began construction in 2013.

However, there were positive indicators for upcoming resources projects. The value of schemes deemed under consideration or possible rose by $17.5 billion in December.

There was a $40 billion jump in value for projects under construction, although a $22.3 billion drop for ‘possible’ projects offset this

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