Cranes’ reaching new heights across the Newcastle skyline

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Never before have so many cranes been seen in the Newcastle skyline. Picture: Simone De Peak
UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Never before have so many cranes been seen in the Newcastle skyline. Picture: Simone De Peak

NEWCASTLE has smashed its own record for the highest number of cranes operating across the city at the one time. 

The RLB Crane Index monitors the health of the construction industry by counting the number of cranes in operation in 11 Australian cities. 

“Ten cranes now dot the skyline around Newcastle,” the April report says. 

This is the highest number of cranes observed since the start of the index, and anecdotally the highest number ever observed in Newcastle

Cranes working on residential constructions represent 60 per cent of all observed in Newcastle. 

Colliers director of residential property marketing Dane Crawford said the city was now in “history-making mode.” 

“There is an unprecedented amount of private and government investment in Newcastle,” Mr Crawford said. 

The growth was fuelled by a mix of factors. 

“Newcastle has been a challenging place to develop due to undermining,” he said. “The grouting fund has brought certainty and less risk to developers.” 

The $17m Newcastle Mines Grouting Fund allows developers to apply for funds for works to fill voids and tackle mine subsidence. 

Additionally, he claimed hard infrastructure from all three levels of government along with the city’s “desirability” were other drivers. 

“We have a council with real purpose to gentrify and beautify,” he said. 

Mr Crawford said he expects to see 300 apartments released onto the market during 2018, and 400 in 2019, and the same number in 2020. 

By contrast, only 200 apartments had been constructed in the entire decade up to 2017, he said. 

However, Mr Crawford has calculated in order to meet demand 1000 apartments would need to be constructed each year. 

New crane installations include: Herald Apartments, Parque Apartments, Stockland, Verve Apartments, Westend and Westfield Kotara.

Newcastle, along with Hobart, Melbourne and Perth all recorded increases in crane activity. 

There are currently 684 cranes on projects across Australia.