Concrete demand surges
QUEENSLAND is helping drive a surge in national concrete production, with major projects such as Queen's Wharf and Cross River Rail set to boost demand further.
Cement Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA) said more than 30 million cubic metres of pre-mixed concrete were produced across Australia last year compared to 28.5 million cubic metres in 2016 and 27 million in 2015.
About 7.1 million cubic metres was used in Queensland last year, with the lion's share produced for the resources, telecommunications and housing markets.
Over the next four years in excess of 7 million cubic metres is expected to be used in the state annually, equivalent to filling 2840 Olympic sized swimming pools each year.
CCAA chief executive Ken Slattery said the industry boom was fuelled by major projects such as Queen's Wharf and the proposed $5.4 billion Cross River Rail Project.
"These projects are good news for the heavy construction materials industry and for the more than 110,000 Australians employed directly or indirectly in the sector," Mr Slattery said.
"It's also good news for the Australian economy, with the industry contributing more than $15 billion to the national accounts."
He said a recent report by consulting firm Deloitte had concluded that infrastructure projects worth over $324 billion were in the pipeline nationally, an increase of almost $50 billion over the past two years.
Sunstate Cement general manager Rajeev Ramankutty said it would be great if projects such as Cross River Rail were given the green light.
"At the moment, the big construction projects are limited to New South Wales and Victoria," said Mr Ramankutty. "In Queensland, Cross River Rail will be a boost and Queen's Wharf will help once construction starts to come out of the ground."
Sunstate, which is based at Port of Brisbane, currently produces about one million tonnes of cement for the southeast Queensland market each year.
Engineering construction work in Queensland has increased 15 per cent in the past year driven largely by the renewable energy sector.
Projects include the $850 million Cooper's Gap wind farm, the $400 million Lilyvale solar farm and the $350 million Ross River solar farm. Future work is led by the planned $1 billion solar farm at Bulli Creek and the $1 billion Clarke Creek wind and solar project.