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Australia’s Q1 construction crane activity revealed

Marr Contracting has completed a series of heavy lifts for Lendlease on the Powerhouse Parramatta project.

Australia has recorded a one per cent dip in the total number of construction cranes erected on sites in the first quarter of 2024.

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According to a report conducted by global independent construction, property, and management consultancy, Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), the record number of 882 cranes on sites reported in the Q3 2023 was reduced to 862 in Q1 2024.

In the last six months, 367 new cranes were added to new projects while 380 cranes were removed from buildings nearing completion. With 13 less cranes on the skyline across the country, the number of cranes across the major cities is now the second highest recorded.

According to RLB, the large number of cranes observed correlates with national construction activity. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, total construction activity across Australia for the 2023 calendar year was up by 9.0 per cent, or $21 billion, compared to 2022.


The residential index fell from the record high of 553 cranes in the last count, down to 540. 210 cranes were added to residential projects, with 223 removed from sites.

On the non-residential side of things, RLB’s report says there are 329 cranes on non-residential sites—the same total as in Q3 2023. The non-residential proportion of cranes across the country is 38 per cent, up slightly from the 37 per cent recorded in the last count.

Four cities recorded higher crane numbers for Q1 2024. Melbourne was the only city that gained more than 10 cranes, with Sydney recording a drop of 11 construction cranes on city skylines.

Of note within the data is the rise in use for cranes in data centre construction. Up by nine compared to the last count, the demand for bigger data centres is now surging with the need for computing power to enable the use of artificial intelligence, placing extra emphasis on the need for heavy lifting tower cranes such as those provided by Marr and Terex.

RLB is a global independent construction, property and management consultancy, with a team of 500 people across Australia and New Zealand working together to shape the future of the built environment. The bi-annual crane index that it publishes is designed to reflect the health of the construction industry under the principle that if the construction crane industry is booming, then the wider construction industry must be too.

The report can be read in full here.

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