Sydney Now Crane Capital of the Southern Hemisphere

The crane boom in Sydney has gone from strength to strength as the construction sector continues to prop up the city’s local economy. According to statistics compiled by RLB, the total amount of cranes on our city’s skyline totaled 346 by April 2018.

This not only makes Sydney’s crane count the leader in Australia by a big margin (Melbourne was a distant 2nd place with 146 cranes on its skyline), but also blows any other city in the Southern Hemisphere including cities with major construction zones such as Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur & Nigeria’s Eko Atlantic City.

What’s even more astonishing is that over the past 6 months the crane count actually contracted from its peak of 350 cranes to the current 346 cranes. Whilst it may seem we only lost 4 cranes, the actual ‘turnover’ of cranes was nothing short of breathtaking with a total of 148 removed from our city & 144 cranes added to the Sydney skyline over the past 6 months. The turnover of cranes totaled the entire crane count of Melbourne’s entire metropolitan area.

Sydney Crane Count Graph

  • October 2015
  • April 2016
  • October 2016
  • April 2017
  • October 2017
  • April 2018

Source: RLB

A hotspot of crane activity is occurring within the Green Square precinct as the City of Sydney aims to grow the suburb’s population to 61,000 by the year 2030 which could mean a density of 22,000 people per km/sq making it one of the densest regions in the entire country, hence the need for highrise residential development & it’s booming crane count.

Another region of significant development is Parramatta & its surround regions of Westmead, Merrylands & Granville. As Parramatta was announced as Sydney’s 2nd CBD with major infrastructure projects such as the Parramatta Light Rail, The Western Sydney Stadium (U/C), The Sydney Metro West & relocation of the Powerhouse Museum, it meant developers started taking notice & adding a significant amount of residential stock to meet the demand the area with have over the next decade.

Huge investment by major universities (Western Sydney University & University of Sydney) & NSW Government in its hospitals within Westmead is also driving massive demand for housing in the suburb, where at least count there were 6 cranes in Westmead alone, with many more to come thanks to new hospitals, universities & housing to be added to the suburb.

Another booming region is Liverpool in the city’s south-west. It has several developments currently under construction within the Liverpool CBD which are over 20 stories & are creating a brand new skyline in the greater Sydney Metro area. At last count, there were 13 cranes on its respective skyline.

The Sydney CBD itself is also seeing a wave of activity with can be seen in the city centre proper, Darling Harbour & Barangaroo. Several infrastructure projects such as the Sydney Metro Stage 2 & the Sydney CBD Light Rail have sparked a boom in both residential & Commercial development which is set to continue over the next few years with a strong development pipeline to follow the current wave of developments.

The building sparking the most interest is the Crown Tower in Barangaroo which has several cranes (3 at last count) working on the project which will be the tallest skyscraper in Sydney upon completion at 271m. There were a total of 34 cranes in the CBD and its surrounding suburbs in April of 2018 according to RLB.

Whilst there has been a significant reduction in residential Cranes over the last 6 months (298 residential cranes making up 85% of cranes Q4 2017 vs 258 residential cranes making up 73% of the total now) as most more construction has shifted to commercial developments (18 commercial cranes making up 5% of cranes Q4 2017 vs 31 commercial cranes making up 9% of the total now) which is a good sign that things are returning to a more sustained level on par with long-term trends.

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Dejan is the Founder & head journalist of Build Sydney. He obtained a degree in Computer Science and has a passion for urban development. He has a goal to report on Sydney's Journey from a major international regional city into a truly global city, most notably the changes in the urban landscape, high rise buildings, infrastructure and transport.

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