As an industry, construction plays a significant role in the Australian economy. The construction industry provides for the homes in which people live and the places they use for work and recreation. Construction also provides for essential facilities and infrastructures, such as schools, hospitals, roads, water and electricity supply, and telecommunications.
The industry and its activities are closely linked to other parts of the Australian economy. Important linkages include the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail trade industries, as well as the finance and insurance industries. Significant parts of the professional services industry, such as the architectural and engineering professions, are also closely linked to the construction industry.
In 2001-02, the construction industry contributed 5.6% to Australia's gross domestic product. This compares with 5.2% in 2000-01.
In 2001-02, the construction industry employed 705,800 workers, either as employees or as self-employed contractors. This represented approximately 8% of all employed persons in Australia. The majority of those employed in the construction industry were full-time (85%) and male (88%).
The construction industry engages in three broad areas of activity:
- residential building (e.g. houses, flats, etc.)
- non-residential building (e.g. offices, shops, hotels, etc.)
Construction activity is undertaken by both the private and public sectors within Australia. The private sector is generally engaged in all three categories of construction and plays a major role in residential and non-residential building activity. The public sector, on the other hand, plays a key role in initiating and undertaking engineering construction activity and in non-residential building activity, particularly building activity relating to health and education.
Construction includes an article The design and contribution of Indigenous housing: the challenge ahead.
- engineering construction (e.g. roads, bridges, water, sewerage, etc.).