With record investment from Federal and State governments in Australia’s largest-ever transport infrastructure pipeline, the spotlight is moving to the private sector’s capacity and capability to meet the construction peak set to hit this decade.
Australia is facing a shortage of specialist mega-project resources and experienced public-private partnership players, placing the sector at significant risk of not realising the value of government investment in stimulating economic growth and meeting future infrastructure needs. Analysis by EY suggests that 75% of Australia’s infrastructure needs in 2050 do not exist today.
Korean company, GS Engineering and Construction Corp. (GS E&C), has played a significant role in transforming Korea’s rail and road infrastructure and has cut commute time by 25 per cent despite travel distance growing by 30 per cent over the past 20 years. And GS E&C recognises the critical precipice that Australia now finds itself in.
“A resilient and viable supply base for mega-project delivery is essential for obtaining value-for-money outcomes during the procurement and delivery phases.” says President & CEO, Civil & Infra, GS E&C, Won-jang Lee.
“The Australian government has a record of significant investment in infrastructure and strong governance frameworks that make the market attractive to the private sector to participate in,” explains Lee.
With more than 25 public–private partnerships (PPPs), the successful delivery of US$65 billion of projects in 28 countries and the benefit of Korean innovation credentials – Korea is rated the world’s most innovative country by Bloomberg’s 2021 Innovation Index and 5th on the 2021 Global Innovation Index – GS E&C is well placed to understand how a contractor can deliver successful outcomes for all parties in this market environment.
“Global players like GS E&C with experience in collaborative and cooperative partnership models, such as PPPs, and robust mega-project leadership capability can bolster local capacity and accelerate productivity outcomes, so the private sector can match the commitment of government. As well as highlighting the need to partner respectfully and with mutual objectives, embracing digital solutions and lessons from some of the world’s largest projects such as the Doha Metro will be vital in the delivery of the current pipeline” says Won-jang Lee.
The ability to accelerate Australia’s capacity by harnessing the experience of global experts will be vital during the next decade. Contractors that have experience in places like South Korea, where transport infrastructure has already been modernised, have developed sophisticated construction methodologies and solved common industry challenges. For example, GS E&C has a deep understanding of tunnelling and challenging ground conditions due to South Korea being 70 per cent mountainous terrain.
“There is an opportunity right now to improve the future liveability of Australian regional, rural and urban communities in terms of jobs, economic growth and keeping up with customer trends and behaviours. The key to achieving this will be the mega-project capacity and collaborative relationships that have seen projects of similar size delivered successfully overseas and locally,” concludes Lee.
Learn more about the history of GS E&C and how it’s achieved tremendous growth in the fields of architecture, civil engineering, housing, plant, environment and power plant since 1969.