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What’s new on the menu for Aussie Leaders

What’s new on the menu for Aussie Leaders

“What`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders these days?”

written by Wayne Brown

G’day mate! …

Yes, you probably guessed that I hail from the land down under? And just to be clear, that means Australia, not our smaller cousins, and cobbers from across the waters in New Zealand. Although I did spend 6 years working in our elevator-escalator tribe in NZ, so we’ll keep that adventure for another blog.

Anyway, please excuse me if I “waffle on” from time to time or if it seems that I’ve gone “walk-about” with my thoughts. Still, it’s been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to showcase the motherland or use the mother tongue. Actually, I’m not sure I can still speak native Australian?

It’s been 15 years since setting sail… Today we will see what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders.

It’s been close to 15 years since I last called Australia home – at least as a resident. Departing January 9, 2005, for Shanghai seems like an eternity ago. While I have always had the opportunity to return home at least annually to my parent’s place in Brisbane, it’s not quite the same living out of a suitcase.

And just so we can get a few of the stakeholder expectations addressed early on. Here are three of the cute, furry guys that we’re famous for. Well, at least the first two are cute and fury, the last one famous perhaps, but definitely not so cute and mainly feathers.

Our journey this trip …

My career commenced in January 1978 and has allowed me to live and work in most states and territories of Australia. Therefore the temptation exists to cover the whole of the country in this article. However, you will be pleased to see; I limit myself to a recent trip, where I facilitated a Leadership workshop in Sydney. From here, we head up north to Brisbane/Gold Coast for a couple of days to relax with family.

This limiting of scope leaves lots of room for future articles covering other areas such as Australia’s new #1 state – at least that’s the prediction. The “experts” suggest that Melbourne will strip Sydney of her title within two decades as the largest and premier city. I can’t wait for that heated debate to start over :(.

And to add salt to the wound. The 2018 Business Insider ranked  Melbourne (2nd), Sydney (5th), and Brisbane the (22nd) as the most livable cities in the world.

Yes, we are a Continent…

BTW, Australia is a continent (not an island!) with a small population that has just exceeded 25 million. And to quote one of the travel websites …

“It has the most astounding rate of betting on the planet with more than 80 percent of Australian adults participating in gambling. And 20 percent of the poker machines on the planet are found in this part of the world...

the country is absolutely into different kinds of sports. Whether it is Hockey, Cricket, Football, they are excellent in numerous sports and have brought laurels to the country.”

Kicking off the journey with Sydney …

I’ve lived in Sydney twice – the first time I started my career with this tribe in the mid-’80s, working as a service technician, and the second for a short 12 month stint at the end of the century millennium – i.e., 1999 as the NSW Construction Head. – WOW, I just realized that’s 20 years ago.

They were very different times compared to today, and hopefully, as an industry, we’ve learned and grown.

what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders
The view as you approach the city from the harbour mouth

The population of New South Wales in the year 2018 was 7.982 million – with Sydney comprising 5.7896 million. Sydney is growing quickly – so quickly in fact that it might have as many as 7 million residents by 2060. That’s not much smaller than the population of London today.

What’s new on the menu for Aussie leaders in Sydney

Cranes in a skyline have long been one of our industry indicators for the buoyancy of business. These cranes serve as a predictor of our future. As you most likely realize, we operate in a value chain that follows the product life cycle.

Customer orders fill our factories, which supplies our installation business and ends up (for the most part) in our service portfolio. And hopefully with a new lease on life through modernization.

what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders
During boom construction times, all aspects of the business flourish.

Ripper economic growth fuelling boom…

In Australia, the residential and commercial growth has been very healthy for the past half dozen years. Most capitals have witnessed a transition to inner-city apartment living. These living preferences have spurred an explosion in demand for medium and high-rise buildings.

So much so that the governments have needed to reciprocate through mega infrastructure projects. Another popular trend is approval for complexes that offer a communal living environment. This formula has become the norm with most major areas across the country. Inner Sydney city has been no exception, with Barangaroo being one very large and classic example.

A quick search for key infrastructure and commercial projects underway in Sydney reveals substantial development, and will show us what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders.

Unsustainable maintenance pricing…

However, one link in the chain going against that trend depicted above is the maintenance market. Here, the construction growth has over-shadowed, even concealed, a tightening service business. The effects are lower prices, which in turn have placed greater demands on efficiency gains. Companies being forced into automation and digitalization, combined with reduced maintenance frequency, and shortened site visit times.

As the title of this article suggests, the days of fat 10+ year contracts seem long gone. We note that this is a national issue, not restricted to those locations covered herein.

Tallest buildings in Australia …

Interestingly Sydney is not home to any of the top 5 habitable buildings across Australia. Soon after Brisbane’s Skytower and Melbourne’s Australia 108, it will not figure in the top 10. This field is dominated by Melbourne, with Brisbane/Gold Coast contributing.

These statistics exclude the Sydney Tower (Centrepoint as I used to know) as it’s not deemed a habitable building.

The two graphs below illustrate the status as it stands today and what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders.

  1. Q1 Tower, Gold Coast 322.5m 78 floors
  2. Sydney Tower, 309m 19 floors but not considered a habitable building
  3. Eureka Tower, Melbourne 297m 91 floors
  4. 120 Collins Street, Melbourne, 265m 52 floors
  5. 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, 260m, 57 floors
  6. 1 Williams Street, Brisbane, 259.8m, 46 floors

Standing at 108 stories and 388 meters tall, Australia 108 will be 91 meters taller than the Eureka Tower. Designed by Fender Katsalidis, it will become the world’s 19th tallest building on completion.

A bit of the touristy stuff before heading north…

Sydney has plenty to offer everyone that visits. And depending on your taste, of course, it will govern your preferences. Here’s a list of my favorite must-sees.

  1. The harbour – from multiple vantage points. Check out the city view from Taronga Zoo at night.
  2. The beaches – Manly and the northern beaches, Bondi and the eastern beaches or any or the more secluded.
  3. The bridge – if you have the passion for feeling free with the wind in your hair (don’t mind height) take the climb
  4. The Rocks and Circular Quay – to take in more of the above and enjoy the ambience and food.
  5. The Zoo – nature lover or not, its a great short visit, and as mentioned the views are spectacular.
  6. The surrounding cities North Shore, Chatswood, Parramatta – all major locations in themselves
what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders
View from below Taranga Zoo on Sydney’s North Shore

And so we journey north…

Our first stop as we transverse out of NSW and into Queensland is the Gold Coast, which forms the border between them. Famous to many for its endless stretch of accessible coastline and white sands. For many people of all ages and cultures, this is a bucket-list destination.

Now I’m a north Brisbane local and grew up with the Sunshine Coast beaches lapping on my doorstep. Still, I must admit to spending many enjoyable and memorable New Years’ Eve in this part of the world. Celebrating the new year (twice) due to the 1 hour time difference caused by daylight savings in NSW.

One foot either side…

A common practice for the locals is heading to Coolangatta in the southernmost town in Queensland. It’s possible to walk across the border into Tweed Heads (the northernmost NSW town) for an early New Years’ celebration. After “wetting the whistle” (having a couple of ales), a few steps back into Coolangatta for celebration # 2, one hour later.

Sleep on those occasions was seldom a consideration, as it was customary to be an early starter for a round of 18 holes to kick start the year in the right way. Oh, to be that age again!!

what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders
View from the southern end of Gold Coast looking north towards Surfers Paradise

With 11 skyscrapers exceeding the 150m mark, Gold Coast ranks in the top 100 cities worldwide for buildings above this height. Below is a list of the top 10 for your interest.

1 Q1 Tower 2005 323 m
2 Ocean 2020 258 m
3 Soul 2012 243 m
4 Circle on Cavill North Tower 2007 220 m
5 Hilton Surfers Hotel & Residences Orchid Towe… 2011 188 m
6 Sundale Apartments 2016 180 m
7 Jewel Hotel 2019 170 m
8 The Dorsett and Star Residences 2022 167 m
9 The Oracle Beach Tower 2011 165 m
10 Circle on Cavill South Tower 2006 158 m

During my stop, I took the opportunity to meet with a colleague for breakfast on the observation deck of Q1. As you can see from the panoramic views, it’s quite the location.

To my final destination during this trip …

For the benefit of my southern doubters, I’m starting here with a list of the ten tallest buildings. It serves as evidence that we “Brisbanites” do understand what the term high rise is all about. Proudly illustrating that we have 17 structures over the 150m mark and ranking as #68 globally. That compares with 41 in Sydney and a whopping 67 in Melbourne. Yeah, well, maybe on reflection, Brisbane doesn’t have so many!

1 Brisbane Skytower 2019 269 m
2 The One 2020 264 m
3 1 William Street 2016 260 m
4 Infinity 2014 249 m
5 Soleil 2012 243 m
6 Aurora 2006 207 m
7 Riparian Plaza 2005 200 m
8 One One One Eagle Street 2012 195 m
9 443 Queen Street 2020 184 m
10 300 George Street 2019 182 m
what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders
This picture from a decade earlier before a number of the top 10 buildings where constructed

With the population of Queensland in 2018 estimated as 4.9286 million and Brisbane itself with only 2.41 million, we have always been the poor neighbor to our southern colleagues. For some, they would venture to comment that we are the hillbillies of the litter.

“The small country town, where you go for a holiday but wouldn’t want to set up camp.” So unkind…

There is hope for Brisbane…

The good news (at least for us that own property near the city) is that we have started to attract some serious overseas investment. Construction on the Queen’s Wharf and the Brisbane Live entertainment is underway. Also, it seems that the local government may have finally agreed to proceed with the Cross River Rail project!

In fact here’s what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders in Brisbane – A list of major projects, excluding the three mentioned above

  1. Northshore Parklands
  2. Brisbane airport redevelopment – International & Domestic
  3. Howard Smith Wharves
  4. Brisbane Quarter – 300 George Street
  5. Brisbane Metro

And to finish with some more touristy stuff …

Here are my favorite five must-sees in and around the southeast Queensland greater area, time permitting.

  1. North and South beaches – i.e. Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast
  2. Visit the islands – Stradbroke or Morton islands
  3. The hinterland areas – Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast
  4. The parks – Lone Pine & Australia Zoo
  5. And to finish with a toss of coin – either select a Westfield shopping centre (yes I know, but’s an experience) or visit one or more amusement parks on the drive between Brisbane and the two Coasts.
what`s new on the menu for Aussie leaders

Our next adventure takes us to the sprawling Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, where I’m facilitating a Sales workshop. It’s more than 10 years since I was last there, so I’m very keen to see what changes and progress have been made, in particular in relation to our elevator-escalator tribe.

Until next time, stay safe and keep learning!

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