Australia calls for contractors to help rebuild the city after new year floods

The Australian city of Brisbane has put out a call for UK construction firms to help the £3.5bn job of rebuilding the city in the wake of the new year floods that engulfed it.

A delegation from the city came to London this week urging UK contractors, consultants and architects to bid for rebuild contracts after the Brisbane floods. This includes taking part in a plan to build 754,000 homes over the next 20 years.

Daniel Havas, director at Brisbane’s economic development agency, said: “We view the UK as a key source market. We want to integrate UK firms into our market by becoming part of the local supply chain.”

The Queensland floods caused £275m worth of damage to state-wide public infrastructure with over 90,000km of roads requiring repair. The Queensland Reconstruction Authority is overseeing a £3.5bn recovery programme and allocates money to areas of most priority.

Up to £84bn is to be invested in infrastructure over the next 20 years under the Queensland Infrastructure Plan. Brisbane’s economic development agency is particularly keen to attract large UK contractors, architects and green building outfits.

UK firms, RPS consultants and Laing O’Rourke, already have offices in Brisbane with the latter buying local firm Barclay Mowlem in 2007. 

Havas said: “Firms can then gain a foothold in the market through acquisitions or partnerships with local supply chain companies.”

Graham Hand, chief executive of overseas opportunities consultant British Expertise, said: “For major developments, which require high end expertise in project or financial management, opportunities exist for UK firms.”