Gary Emmett

Senior Economist, Brisbane
Adding an economic perspective to our cost management services enhances our brand and reputation, and equips our staff to have insightful conversations.
Gary Emmett
By describing the impact of economic factors I help our clients and staff to reduce cost risk in their construction projects. To do this I follow economic developments in the global and local economy, construction market cycles, major projects, commodity prices and all of the factors that affect construction costs.

As the construction sector gets busier, with more and more projects underway, construction costs tend to rise. Tendering becomes less competitive and trade wages often increase because there are skills shortages. Profit margins in the supply chain tend to increase. By tracking project activity levels and indexing major cost inputs, it becomes easier to forecast likely changes in construction costs before they occur. This gives projects a chance to consider their options, pick their timing and methods of contracting and procurement, avoiding unexpected cost blowouts

Q. How has your career at Turner & Townsend developed?

A. None of us realised that there might be a role for an economic perspective to the traditional services provided by Turner & Townsend. I had recently completed a second degree in property economics and discovered I had an aptitude for relating economics to construction. Soon I was writing articles and reports, crunching numbers and preparing charts and graphs to supplement the traditional services provided by Turner & Townsend.  

Q. Which project are you most proud of being involved in at Turner & Townsend?

A. It would have to be the international construction market survey. This started as an idea where we would send out a quick survey form to about eight regions to collect construction costs, trade rates and materials costs so we could do an international comparison. Now, after 11 years, it has grown to encompass 64 regions, more than 4000 data items and detailed market commentary and analysis from across the whole Turner & Townsend organisation. It’s now the most downloaded item that Turner & Townsend produces and has its own app to go with it.

Q. Describe your typical day.

A. As Australia is in a different time zone from much of the rest of the world I tend to get a lot of email queries overnight from overseas Turner & Townsend offices. This takes up some of my day. I have fee-based client commissions and deliverables that I am working on. When I get some spare time I’ll do some research on some aspect of the market or economy, by seeking out the latest stats and data. I’m fortunate that I get a lot of freedom to pursue this

Career highlights

  1. Senior Economist

  2. Senior Consultant

  3. Joined Turner & Townsend as CostWeb Manager