Region/Countries: Australia, Australia and New Zealand Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: June 2016

Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The strongest state economy in Australia continues to grow, allowing the state to pay for projects in highways, rail, schools, prisons, recreation and utilities, among other projects.

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) is home to about 7.3 million people, has Sydney as the state capital, and is viewed as a major global and Asia-Pacific cultural hub. In addition to being Australia’s oldest, largest and most cosmopolitan state, it is also an economic powerhouse with an economy larger than Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.

The NSW economy continues to lead the nation, with growth in economic activity well above the rest of Australia over the last year. This above-trend economic growth is expected to continue. In 2015-16 NSW delivered a surplus of $2.5 billion ($3.4 billion Australian), which is expected to rise to $2.7 billion ($3.7 billion Australian) in 2016-17 and is forecast to continue to rise over the next four years.

In June, NSW State Premier (Governor) Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian announced that the NSW government will invest a record $55 billion ($73 billion Australian) in public infrastructure destined for projects across the state, including schools, hospitals, roads, public transport and emergency services through 2019-20.

To meet the needs of a growing population, the government is undertaking a $31 billion ($41.5 billion Australian) investment in major road and public transport projects, including:

  • Princes Highway Upgrade: $235 million ($313 million Australian).
  • Western Sydney Growth Roads: $236 million ($315 million Australian).
  • Sydney Metro Northwest rail project, $4.4 billion ($5.9 billion Australian) and Next Generation Rail Fleet: $389 million ($518 million Australian)
  • Planning of the Parramatta Light Rail, $48 million ($64 million Australian).

The budget approved almost $4 billion ($5 billion Australian) in capital works through 2019-20 for hospital upgrades, redevelopments and expansions, including new major works in northern NSW at Tweed and Port Macquarie Hospitals and a new and ongoing technology project for digital patient records and electronic medication management systems.

Wisconsin companies may find specific opportunities in the following sectors/projects:

  • Education and training: $1.8 billion ($2.4 billion Australian) for new schools.
  • Criminal justice: funding for the construction of a new 1,700-bed correctional facility in Grafton, $1.6 billion (2.2 billion Australian) for the Prison Bed Capacity Program, and $2.2 million $2.9 million Australian) to pilot test a GPS tracking system for domestic violence offenders.
  • Utilities: $2.5 billion ($3.4 billion Australian) for water and wastewater projects to service urban development across Sydney, the Hunter and the Blue Mountains.
  • Culture and entertainment: funding for the Western Sydney Stadium and $96 million ($128 million Australian) for construction of new and upgraded facilities at Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.
  • Emergency services: $47 million ($63 million Australian) to upgrade the emergency services communication network.

Wisconsin exporters wishing to explore opportunities in NSW within any of the sectors highlighted here are encouraged to review the NSW Budget 2015-16 (and infrastructure plan), identify projects/areas of interest and register with the NSW Government’s tender website. Exporters who establish partnerships with local importers, distributors and service providers who are already doing business in Australia and/or NSW may gain traction faster and win business in the region.