Building value

Building value

In Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia, John Holland has become synonymous with quality engineering and contracting. For more than 65 years, the company has been dedicated to delivering exceptional results in the building, engineering, and rail sectors.


John Holland and its new owner, China Communications Construction Company International Holding Limited (CCCI), have set the ambitious target of doubling the size of the Australian company within five years. With a new business model already in place, strengthened by a new Development & Investments arm, the company is moving in an exciting new direction.

CEO, Glenn Palin, says John Holland had a proud history of delivering major infrastructure for Australia: “That will continue to be an extremely important focus for us, but we are also moving in a new and exciting direction. We now have a business that can provide value across the entire infrastructure and property cycle.”


Palin said the business would focus on: 

  • Being an integrated solution for governments.
  • Further developing vertically integrated businesses to provide a ‘total solution service.’
  • Proactively generating business growth through Development & Investment opportunities.
  • Leveraging the global technology links and supply chain ability with CCCC.


As further evidence of their commitment to international growth, John Holland has recently opened a South East Asian office in Singapore.

“We have just opened a South East Asian Office, located in Singapore, testament to our on the ground project experience, along with a promising pipeline of work and excellent potential for growth,” says Palin.

New financial strength

The launch of a new Development & Investments Group (D&I) is a critical step change for the future of the business. D&I will drive new business opportunities in property development and infrastructure, public-private partnerships (PPP) and concessions as well as exploring M&A prospects. 

John Holland already has considerable experience with PPP, working on a number of successful projects such as the Southbank Education and Training Precinct in Queensland, Sydney Metro and, more recently, Melbourne’s Ravenhall Prison redevelopment project.

John Holland has performed numerous roles on these projects, from design and construction to operations and maintenance.  They have also invested equity in projects such Sydney’s Lane Cove Tunnel and EastLink in Victoria and the newly awarded Canberra’s Capital Metro project.

“Our D&I Team will work hand in hand with our clients, investing and partnering with them to deliver high quality assets that maximise value,” Palin says, “Our extensive industry experience allows us to support our customers at every stage of the project lifecycle from defining and developing concepts at project conception, to operations and maintenance.”

“Our objective is to provide value and innovation to Australia’s infrastructure and property markets.”


Working together and sharing ideas often leads to the best results. For this reason, John Holland places a high value on collaboration. The company has partnered with the Australian Institute of Building to offer students opportunities for hands-on experience, and is active with several associations including the Australian Constructors Association and the Green Building Council to promote industry-wide progress and growth.

John Holland also works together with strategic technology partners to improve internal processes—like its web-based Project Pack Web system, to increase mobility and empower employees to be productive from any location and in turn enhance further collaboration with clients.

“We’re empowering people in IT to connect directly with their business counterparts to understand their needs,” said David Banger, CIO for John Holland. “Project Pack Web was developed in collaboration with the business to make sure that it met their requirements while innovating and simplifying existing practices. Our staff members regularly visit projects to experience firsthand the way our services are utilised so we can continually improve the support we provide to the business.”


Innovation is imperative for a business intending to grow, but it is equally important that innovation is pursued with purpose. John Holland has established an Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ETI) function, which will ensure that continuous improvement is ‘business as usual.’ As such it looks at Design Management Services, construction planning, research & development, and new technologies.

“Its primary accountability is to build competitive advantage through engineering excellence, innovation, research and leveraging the breadth and depth of CCCC capabilities, resources and procurement.”

“The depth and breadth of our service offering, coupled with our internal collaboration model, allows us to effectively and efficiently deliver high quality infrastructure and engineering solutions for our clients,” Palin says.

Conclusion and Future

Growth dominates John Holland’s future plans, bolstered by the support of its parent company. “We plan to double the size of John Holland within five years by building on our reputation for excellence and taking advantage of new opportunities,” says Palin.

“Many of our operating markets have seen significant change over recent years, particularly in the past 12-18 months. Evaluating these changes, identifying future industry trends, researching new markets and determining the competitive advantages we offer, has also been a vital part of the planning process.”