A simplistic measure of how many cranes have been erected in Australia over the past six months has signalled positive sentiments in the Australian construction industry, with 205 out of 256 new cranes erected on residential project sites across the country.

The Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB) Q2 2015 Crane Index (see attached), which follows the number of cranes erectedin  major cities twice a year, shows that there was a 32 per cent increase of cranes sighted across Australia since Q3 2014, more predominantly in the city hubs of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. 

The Index reports that 427 cranes were sighted in Q2 2015, up from 324 cranes in Q3 2014 and up from 308 cranes that were sighted 12 months ago. This represents an increase of 39 per cent over the past year and RLB says it’s a sign of growth in the construction sector.

“The positive growth of crane numbers across the country corresponds with the amount of construction work done across the country,” says the report.

“Significant increase in the volume of multi-level residential construction is enabling the growth of cranes across the skyline of Australia.”

Sydney saw the largest increase in crane numbers of the major cities with 162 cranes spotted in its skyline over Q2 2015, up from 119 in Q3 2014. Melbourne (23), Brisbane (23), the Gold Coast (15) and Perth (3) all recorded a six-month increase in the number of cranes operating, while Adelaide (-2), Canberra (-2) and Darwin (-1) reported decreases.

The Residential sector reported the most crane increases while the Commercial, Health and Education sectors recorded decreases, which RLB attributes to elections having taken place in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, which has impacted on the commencement of new projects in those sectors.