Newcastle is currently embarking on an ambitious, ongoing programme of civic construction. The aim is to create a more enjoyable and eco-friendly city for its residents. This is very good news in a construction market that has seen somewhat of a downward trend in recent years.

State of Construction Industry in Newcastle

The situation is complex and seemingly contradictory. A record number of homes are being constructed, but the pace of construction has slowed. This is due to labour and material shortages. In other words, the industry is booming, but Newcastle needs more resources to keep up. Nonetheless, this is good news for Newcastle construction companies, and those supplying scaffolding hire for construction.

Increased demand for scaffolding construction services

The availability of resources is holding the construction industry back somewhat, creating a higher demand for scaffold construction services. This has been bolstered by local government’s growth ambitions and the number of projects either currently under construction or scheduled to start in the near future.

The demand for housing in Newcastle is steadily increasing. Environmental initiatives aimed at constructing new types of green buildings, and the programmes of converting older ones to be more eco-friendly, have also led to this increased need.

Newcastle Construction Industry Statistics

According to the Newcastle local government’s “Delivering Newcastle 2040” delivery and operational programme:

  • City-shaping projects worth over $41 million are underway or planned.
  • Around $9 million has been allocated to Newcastle’s infrastructure revitalisation.

Furthermore, the latest available statistics show:

  • The number of construction companies in Newcastle has shown slow but steady growth since 2016, with 2,401 operating by 2022 – the highest of all industries. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Jan 2024)
  • The rate of building approvals dropped by 29% in 2023, but that comes off a previous post-Covid high, so it was to be expected. The decrease is due to bottlenecks rather than demand. (Source: View.com.au, Feb 2023)
  • Despite this drop-off, almost 250,000 new homes were built, which is an upward trend. (Source: View.com.au, Feb 2023)

Construction industry growth and development in Newcastle

The City of Newcastle local government is driving many of the latest construction project opportunities. The city is undergoing an infrastructure rejuvenation, creating a surge in demand. This also reaches into the commercial and private construction markets.

Several public buildings are scheduled for refurbishment, upgrades or expansion. These include some heritage buildings like our art galleries, as well as our waterfront amenities. Brand new construction projects are also in progress, including the building of organic waste facilities to divert these materials away from landfills.

Other infrastructure projects include new highway bypasses and culverts, to more efficiently deal with floodwater, with more stormwater mitigation projects underway as well. In an effort to increase pedestrianisation and make specific parts of Newcastle more easily accessible to pedestrians, new footbridges are being built too.

Sports facilities are also being upgraded, providing plenty of opportunities for building companies and, by extension, companies providing scaffolding for construction. A few of the breakwaters on the waterfront are also scheduled for repair and refurbishment.

Top Construction Projects in Newcastle

Here’s our rundown of 5 large construction projects currently in progress in Newcastle for 2024.

1. Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion

Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion

(Newcastle Art Gallery Expansion Project – Image source)

Expansion and redevelopment project for Newcastle Art Gallery.

  • Key Stakeholders: Newcastle City Council / Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd.
  • Location: Cooks Hill – Laman Street extending into Darby Street and Queen  Street.
  • Purpose & Scope: adding an extra 1,600 square metres of exhibition space, building and creating more multi-purpose spaces
  • Project Timeline: scheduled for completion in late 2024.
  • Key Features: a new café, retail outlets and educational facilities.
  • Scaffolding Construction Requirements: custom contoured scaffolding with protective mesh to protect existing displays and statues.
  • Impact: a complete re-imagining of the gallery and creating new ways for the community to use it.

2. New Amenities Building

New Amenities Building

(New Honeysuckle Park amenities)

  • Key Stakeholders: Newcastle City Council / Hunter & Central Coast Development Corporation.
  • Location: Honeysuckle Foreshore, near Worth Place Park.
  • Purpose & Scope: building wheelchair-accessible facilities and connecting this new building to the promenade.
  • Project Timeline: completion expected 2024.
  • Key Features: unisex accessible toilets, baby change facilities.
  • Scaffolding Construction Requirements: secure modular platforms for bespoke construction work.
  • Impact: improved accessibility and family facilities.

3. Hunter Street Mall Redevelopment

Hunter Street Mall Redevelopment

(Hunter Street Mall Redevelopment)

  • Key Stakeholders: Iris Capital.
  • Location: Hunter Street.
  • Purpose & Scope: revitalisation of Hunter Street Mall with new structures combining residential, retail and commercial spaces.
  • Project Timeline: completion in 2024.
  • Key Features: new multi-storey buildings and refurbishing of historical façade.
  • Scaffolding Construction Requirements: heavy-duty, high-rise wrap-around scaffolds.
  • Impact: an enlarged precinct to attract more tenants and provide more variety for customers.

4. New Organics Processing Facility

New Organics Processing Facility

  • Key Stakeholders: Newcastle City Council.
  • Location: Summerhill Waste Management Centre.
  • Purpose & Scope: constructing a new, fully contained composting facility.
  • Project Timeline: completion in 2024.
  • Key Features: areas for receiving, composting maturing and storage.
  • Scaffolding Construction Requirements: flexible, custom scaffolding of various heights, with bespoke modules.
  • Impact: reducing the amount of waste going to landfills, increasing resource recovery from organic waste.

5. Darling Street Oval Grandstand

Darling Street Oval Grandstand

(Darling Street Oval, Hamilton South NSW)

  • Key Stakeholders: Newcastle City Council.
  • Location: Darling Street, Hamilton South.
  • Purpose & Scope: demolishing and replacing the existing grandstand.
  • Project Timeline: begun May 2023, in progress.
  • Key Features: new grandstand, refurbishment of existing facilities.
  • Scaffolding Construction Requirements: large-scale wrap-around scaffolding to support 360-degree construction.
  • Impact: larger, improved facilities for spectators and the broader community.

What Awaits in the Future for the Newcastle Construction Industry?

The Australian construction industry will face certain challenges in the short-term future, and Newcastle can be expected to follow suit. While residential construction rates are currently declining, the market for other types of construction, especially renewables, is following an upward cycle.

Construction in the social institution infrastructure segment is likely to expand considerably, particularly at the hyper-local level. Renewable construction projects are also expected to increase in number and scope.

Private investment in large-scale multi-dwelling projects is returning after the recent drop-off. This will play a key role, in conjunction with local authorities, by supplementing the necessary capital, leading to larger budgets for more projects.

ALTA Scaffolding Provides Safe, Efficient Scaffolding for Construction

ALTA Scaffolding has been operating construction scaffold hire in the Newcastle region for over 20 years – with a dedicated focus on safety and worksite efficiency. We provide scaffolds for commercial, residential and government construction projects, at any scale.

We’re dedicated to serving the Newcastle community

ALTA Scaffolding is a family business and we’re part of the local Newcastle community, so we’re able to give sound, expert advice on all your scaffolding needs for Newcastle and the wider Hunter Region.

Author

  • Joshua Knight

    Joshua Knight is the General Manager at ALTA Scaffolding, and has extensive experience with scaffolding hire for commercial, high-rise, residential and mining projects in the Newcastle, NSW area.

Joshua Knight

Joshua Knight is the General Manager at ALTA Scaffolding, and has extensive experience with scaffolding hire for commercial, high-rise, residential and mining projects in the Newcastle, NSW area.

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