Contruent Blog

Mega Projects in Australia


While Australia has always been known as a mining leader, they are seeing a huge spike in infrastructure and transportation projects. Yesteryear’s $500 million projects are now commonly $5 billion largely because they are being done in spaces with existing infrastructure like Melbourne and Sydney, requiring extensive tunneling and construction around existing urban environments.

Australia is going through a massive infrastructure boom, and ARES PRISM project controls software is used by several mega-projects throughout Australia. Having a proven project controls solution can help project organizations better adhere to government project standards for project planning and assessment. 

Infrastructure Australia, the federal entity that prioritizes and progresses the country’s significant infrastructure, has developed guidelines to drive greater transparency and accountability in infrastructure decision-making and reduce instances of major projects receiving funding before appropriate planning and assessment. ARES PRISM helps project organizations meet these guidelines and offers project stakeholders greater visibility. 

5 Nation-Building Mega-Projects in Australia

1.) Inland Rail / ARTC 

Courtesy of Inland Rail

Inland Rail is a once-in-a-generation project that will enhance supply chains and complete the backbone of the national freight network which will expedite freight train travel times between Melbourne and Brisbane. Comprising 13 individual projects in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland and spanning more than 1,700 kilometers, Inland Rail is the largest freight rail infrastructure project in Australia. The route utilizes 1,100 kilometers of existing corridors and builds new greenfield missing links where there is currently no standard gauge (600 kilometers). At the peak of construction, this mega-project will create up to 16,000 new jobs.

Inland Rail will better connect Australia’s farms, mines, cities and ports to domestic and international markets, with estimated economic benefits including a $16 billion boost to Australia’s GDP during construction and the first 50 years of operation. The project will make manufacturing more attractive to regional centers with easier access to markets, plus provide employment in intermodal centers which will sit at the intersection of the Melbourne–Brisbane and Sydney–Perth lines.

2.) WestConnex


Courtesy of WestConnex

WestConnex is Australia’s largest road infrastructure project. It is a 33-kilometer motorway network, much of which is underground. This traffic-light-free motorway is being built in Sydney, NSW, to connect Western Sydney to more employment hubs, reduce traffic congestion, and improve air quality. 

The mega-project is broken up into four stages, the first two are already completed, and the final stages are expected to be completed and opened to traffic in 2023. 

3.) Cross River Rail


Courtesy of Cross River Rail

Cross River Rail is a new 10.2-kilometer rail line from Dutton Park to Bowen Hills. It includes 5.9 kilometers of twin tunnels underneath the Brisbane River and the Central Business District. The critical rail and tunnel project will solve a bottleneck at the core of Queensland’s transportation network and transform travel across South East Queensland.

The Cross River Rail mega-project consists of two major works packages: The Tunnel, Stations, and Development public-private partnership as well as the Rail, Integration, and Systems Alliance.

4.) Western Sydney Airport


Courtesy of Western Sydney Airport

The Western Sydney International Airport is under construction in Badgerys Creek in Western Sydney. Once open, the 10 million passenger capacity set the airport up to become one of the largest gateway in Australia. 

This $5.3 billion infrastructure project is anticipated to open in 2026 and will have a 2.3-mile single runaway (with provisions for an additional runway to reach long-term capacity of 82 million passengers by the 2060s.

The international airport will provide jobs closer to home for folks in Western Sydney while meeting the area’s growing aviation needs. Upon opening, the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will operate without a curfew and will deliver both international, domestic, and freight services. It is expected to create and support approximately 28,000 local jobs in the area by 2030. 

5.) Snowy Hydro 


Courtesy of Snowy Hydro

Another massive undertaking are Snowy Hydro’s energy projects. In fact, Snowy 2.0, which will link two existing dams through 27 kilometers of tunnels and include a new underground power station, is the largest committed renewable energy project in Australia. 

According to Snowy Hydro, once complete, water will be pumped to the upper dam when there is surplus renewable energy production and the demand for energy is low. It will then be released back to the lower dam to generate energy when electricity demand is high, providing flexible, on-demand power while reusing the water in a closed loop. This process effectively maximizes the efficiency of renewables by using excess solar and wind energy to pump water to the higher dam, to be stored for later use.

As Australia continues to start and complete these and other major infrastructure, transportation and energy projects to better future generations, we hope to remain alongside them! To learn more, request a demo of ARES PRISM project management software.