Sydney's 'Iconic' Nature Helps Attract Investment

Sydney is in the midst of a construction boom and is second in the world only to Dubai in boasting the most cranes in the sky.

There are 350 cranes across Greater Sydney with 109 Sydney suburbs seeing the machines on their skylines, according to the RLB Crane Index.

RLB Director of Research and Development Stephen Ballesty says the construction boom will not be ending anytime soon.

“A stable non-residential sector is important to the construction industry as a whole, as it showcases new investment and confidence in both government spending on social infrastructure assets, and the private sector’s spend on long-term investments,” he says.

NSW’s economic growth rate, at 3.5 per cent, is faster than any other state, and with massive infrastructure projects and developments underway across Sydney, the city’s crane index will not come as a surprise to some.

Lendlease Project Director for Urban Regeneration at Darling Square, Neil Arckless, says Sydney’s reputation is a big factor in attracting the right investment.

“The iconic nature really does help as well as the global awareness to attract talent.”


He says Lendlease is working with the NSW Government on the $3.4billion transformation of the Darling Harbour and the Haymarket precinct into a new city neighbourhood consisting of residential, commercial and retail space.

The company has 14 cranes in Sydney, with seven of those working on the Darling Square project.

“We have a long history in Darling Harbour, we have developed Darling Park and Darling Quarter with its vibrant playground and carrying on our history of developing the area was interesting to us.

“Our research shows people want amenity and ability to live life on their terms in an urban environment.

“Liveability is strong in both Sydney and Melbourne but I go back to the iconic nature of our city, I think people picture Sydney in a different way than anywhere else.”


Originally, from the UK, Mr Arckless speaks from personal experience.

“I look at Sydney and think, ‘OK, I can work in a world-class city among globally-respected companies but I can also be sitting at the beach on the weekend.”

Design and construction contractor Ganellen also recognises Sydney’s strength.

“Sydney is and will continue to be the most significant economy in Australia…Sydney is one of the most resilient economies globally at present with solid investment returns and comparatively lower downside risk”, says the company’s Commercial Director, Christopher Ahern.


Ganellen has more than $1 billion worth of work under construction and the high number of cranes in the city’s skies is no shock to Mr Ahern.

The company is delivering major projects for developers across Sydney, including in Macquarie Park, North Ryde and the Sydney CBD.

“As the role of Australia in Asia increases, so does its influence, Sydney will continue to transition from a national to a truly global city in terms of both importance and size. This, coupled with an undersupply of housing of the past decades has resulted in some degree of long-overdue densification of the city, not just in inner city locations but also in the middle to outer suburbs that well-connected to transport.”

He attributes Sydney’s great talent pool, which has extensive exposure to global markets and operating conditions, together with the country’s stable political and banking systems, as reasons why Sydney really is the best place to do business.

Kylie Adoranti

Public Affairs Manager

0450 784 616
Kylie handles media relations for the Sydney Business Chamber and the Sydney Business Chamber, Western Sydney. With a keen interest in politics and communications coupled with her background in journalism, Kylie aims to strengthen relationships with journalists and to expand the awareness of the Chamber's priorities and projects.