Construction Insight: The Yarra River Project

By: | May 28th, 2024

Photo by Saad Salim on Unsplash

2023 is a great year for Melbourne’s construction sector due to the various ‘big’ projects that have been initiated by the Victorian Government. From the expansion of the Royal Children’s Hospital, the 555, Collins Street Project, the Metro Tunnel, and the current revitalization of the north bank of the Yarra River. The transformational project is expected to enhance the city’s offering to not just the locals, but also to tourists which will present the new vision of Melbourne.

The project will see major development over 4 km stretching across five precincts from Birrarung Marr all the way to Bolte Bridge. Primary features or elements of the project include enhanced public spaces for events to be held, and recreational facilities through the stretch, not to mention the seamless, connected journey from Birrarung to Bolte Bridge. ​

The first stage of the project is expected to commence later this year starting at Birrarung Marr which is expected to attract a host of contractors and construction value chain components bidding for a slice of the pie. From material suppliers to skilled workers and construction equipment companies that offer equipment such as excavator hire for Melbourne based projects will truly benefit from the project greatly as the project is expected to be only completed in 2028 according to the implementation schedule.

According to the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp, the project at the moment which is focused on the north bank of the river will not only be stimulating the construction sector as once it is completed from a future perspective it will trigger the creation of thousands of jobs and attract visitors from practically anywhere resulting in the injection of millions of dollars into the Victorian economy.

From a current perspective, during construction, the project will create well over 3,400 jobs and by the time during construction, and 6,400 jobs by 2042, however, the primary driver behind the project is the fact that once completed the Greenline project will have the potential to attract a little more than a million ‘additional’ tourists consisting of both domestic and foreign tourists annually.

The feasibility study according to Ernst & Young, the return on investment into the project is substantial based on the 3:1 cost ratio ($3.29 returns for each dollar invested). A deeper look into the project also reveals that the project will ultimately attract an additional investment of nearly $2 billion from the private sector.  

The construction industry in Melbourne however will be the first faction of the economy to benefit from the project as material suppliers and construction equipment rental companies that provide cranes and excavators for hire in Melbourne will be among the first enterprises that will be called in to participate in the project.

Given the fact that there are quite a number of projects that they are already involved in, demand for their products and services is expected to increase to pre-pandemic norms. According to construction industry players, these projects are expected to revive the construction industry in Melbourne back to pre-pandemic scenarios, if not better by 2024.


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