A quick update from our Director of Evidence and Data, Robert Sobyra following the Building Forecasting Conference….
Last week’s instalment in BIS Shrapnel’s long-running Building Forecasting Conference offered some of the sharpest thinking in our industry. Here are the insights for Queensland’s construction workforce:
The headline story was about an imminent oversupply of housing stock in Queensland, driven by keen investor interest in high-density residential over the last few years (see chart below). Work will slow down in a year or two as developers clear their backlog rather than build anew.

Talk of a collapse in engineering construction was no surprise. We know the miners have stopped building and started producing (see chart below). The drop so far is just the beginning; most of the shock to growth is yet to be felt.

It was encouraging to hear talk of a softer landing from the mining wind-down than might have been expected. NIEIR took the same view in its latest forecast, which foresees a floor on engineering construction in Queensland.
More positively, the healthy decline of the Aussie dollar will underwrite a strong recovery for industries that did it tough during the mining boom; especially tourism and education. Terrific short-to-medium term prospects for trade-exposed industries.
There is talk that construction workers in Queensland’s tourist hotspots will be well rewarded over the next decade. Our decaying tourism infrastructure is in desperate need of a touch-up, and demand, especially from China, is exploding (see chart below). Profits will soon follow, and then the work will begin.

Thanks to BIS Shrapnel for another great series of conferences. We highly recommend these half-day briefings for anyone involved in short-to-medium term strategic planning.