Cranes confirm economy is growing

A buoyant economy is often linked to the number of cranes you see in the sky and, generally speaking, the more cranes there are the greater the commercial confidence.

According to the latest Crane Index report from Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) there are currently 10 cranes operating on the Sunshine Coast.

The Sunshine Coast made its inaugural entry in the RLB Crane Index® (12th edition) and the 10 cranes here brought the total crane count across Australia to 684. Three of the cranes were working on retail projects with the remaining seven involved in residential.

The majority of the cranes were centred around Maroochydore and included multi-residential complexes, The Cosmopolitan, Cotton Tree and my development Pinnacle Picnic Point.

There is a definite need for more residential accommodation on the Sunshine Coast and as Pinnacle wraps up later this year we will see the crane on that site removed and installed on my next project. I currently have another three projects scheduled so my crane will continue to be seen on the horizon for a number of years yet.

For the reporting period , three cranes were operational between Birtinya and Kawana. Salt Apartments (Kawana), Opal Kawana Waters and Affinity Opal Kawana Waters has since opened, and provide specialist aged care for patients requiring permanent, respite or palliative care and for those with dementia related illness. Affinity Place and Salt Apartments are both multi-residential project located at Oceanside, Birtinya, conveniently located near the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

According to the report, “Hutchinson Builders have installed a crane assisting in the development of a residence in McAnally Drive in Sunshine Beach”.

And we are now contributing to Australia’s overall results. “The residential crane count sees Sydney contributing 51% of the nation’s residential cranes, Melbourne contributing 24% and together Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are contributing 15% to the total residential crane count”, the report noted.

In the retail sector there are three cranes working on Sunshine Plaza.

The Australia-wide crane count fell by only one in the latest report and the decrease in cranes in the residential sector across Australia was offset by an increase across the non-residential sectors. The Sunshine Coast should also expect to see non-residential crane numbers increase in the coming quarters as we see building commence on SunCentral, Oceanside and the Airport expansion.

The report notes that, “the non-residential index rise of 42% is represented by an additional 56 cranes across the non-residential sectors. The index highlights the continuing strength of the construction sector within Australia’s economy. The index although falling slightly overall (less than 0.5%), has risen 4.5% since the Q2 2016 publication. The past five editions of the Index has seen a constant number of cranes across the country”.

Now that we have officially made the RLB Crane Index we will be watching future reports with interest as the Sunshine Coast’s growth is currently on an upward trajectory. Despite the fact that multi-residential projects have slowed in other regions we still have much work to do in this area if we are to accommodate the population to increase from 303,389 in 2016 to an estimated 386,692 by 2026. Expect to see cranes dotted across our skyline for some time to come.

Photo: Crane at Pinnacle Picnic Point