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The construction industry has a major influence on every Australian. It provides the homes in which we live, the places in which most of us work and play, our schools and hospitals, and the infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity supply, and telecommunications, essential for our day to day living. A number of other parts of the Australian economy are also closely linked to the construction industry and its activities. These include in particular, parts of the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and finance industries, in supplying components, fittings and furnishings, and in financing construction. Parts of the professional services industry - such as the architectural and engineering professions - are also closely linked to the construction industry.
The construction industry engages in three broad areas of activity: residential building (houses, flats, etc.), non-residential building (offices, shops, hotels, etc.), and engineering construction (roads, bridges, water and sewerage, etc.). Construction activity is undertaken by both the private and public sectors in Australia. The private sector is engaged in all three categories of construction, and plays the major role in residential and other building activity. The public sector plays a key role in initiating and undertaking engineering construction activity, and building activity relating to health and education.