Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Wisconsin companies may find opportunities in the Australian state.
Located in southeastern Australia, the state of Victoria is a midsize economy larger than Singapore, New Zealand and most of Southeast Asia. Home to about 6 million people, or 25 percent of Australia’s population, Victoria accounts for about 23 percent of Australia’s total Gross Domestic Product, and in 2015-16 generated $281 billion ($374 billion Australian) towards the Australian economy. Melbourne, the state’s capital, and its surrounding metropolitan area represent the commercial, manufacturing, technology and research center of Australia, and is expected to be Australia’s largest city as early as 2030.
In response to new opportunities and challenges, Victoria has released its 2017-18 State Budget, which reinforces its commitment to delivering better roads, public transportation, schools and hospitals to ensure that Melbourne and greater Victoria are on track to support a growing population and continued economic growth. Therefore, the Victorian government is investing $7.4 billion ($10 billion Australian) in 2017-18 for new and existing projects across the state, and Wisconsin organizations are encouraged to review planned projects as early as possible to identify potential opportunities.
The following proposed and ongoing projects may be of particular interest to Wisconsin companies:
- Road: $226 million ($300 million Australian) for the construction of the Mordialloc Bypass and $75 million ($100 million Australian) for the design, planning and pre-construction of the North East Link. Procurement is expected to start in 2018, with contracts awarded in 2019.
- Rail: $164 million ($218.1 million Australian) for 10 E-Class trams, $234 million ($311 million Australian) for 39 new VLocity regional train carriages and $141 million ($187 million Australian) to build new train stables on the Frankston Line at Kananook (a suburb south east of Melbourne’s city center). The Melbourne office of Canada’s Bombardier is heading up local manufacturing of the E-Class trams and Vlocity carriages, and may be relying on their existing global supply chain for product/component sourcing.
- Health: $375 million ($498 million Australian) for new and upgraded health facilities, infrastructure and equipment, including ($123 million ($163 million Australian) to upgrade and expand inpatient infrastructure at The Northern Hospital and $6.2 million ($8.3 million Australian) to establish a new 12-bedroom mental health facility in Ballarat.
- Education: $516 million ($685 million Australian) for new and improved schools, including $56 million ($75 million Australian) for new relocatable classrooms and $63 million ($84.3 million Australian) for IT upgrades in schools across Victoria. A list of proposed and ongoing school construction/upgrade projects can be found in the 2017-18 Victoria State Budget.
Wisconsin companies are encouraged to review the 2017-18 Victoria State Budget to identify opportunities. Most projects are expected to be advertised via tender, and Wisconsin organizations are encouraged to:
- Stay abreast of tender opportunities by registering with the Victorian tender website;
- Review planned and current tenders for Victoria’s roads via VicRoads;
- Review ICN Gateway (an industry supplier portal with $186 billion, or $247billion Australian, in project opportunities). Please note, Wisconsin companies will need to have an Australian Business Number (ABN) to register for updates with ICN Gateway.
Wisconsin companies are also encouraged to consider identifying and working with local partners that can respond to opportunities as they arise.