Two new construction contracts in Townsville are set to create opportunities for the city’s tradespeople, including local apprentices and trainees. The projects, worth more than $3 million in total, aim to improve the city’s infrastructure and housing facilities.
The first initiative is already underway, with Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke overseeing the turning of the first sod for a disability housing project. Up to four people, who will receive 24-hour support, can reside at the estate once it’s complete.
Ms O’Rourke confirmed the state government is working alongside charity Cootharinga North Queensland to deliver Belgian Gardens to help overcome housing shortages for disabled people in the area.
“This project will … provide up to eight months work for local tradies during its construction, and an additional 400 hours’ work for building specialists,” she explained.
“There will also be training opportunities for local apprentices under the Queensland Building and Construction Training Policy, which requires contractors to employ apprentices and trainees as a mandated component of being awarded work on eligible Queensland government projects.”
Funding for the initiative was split between the state government and Cootharinga North Queensland, with the two organisations paying $860,000 and $330,000 respectively.
Port upgrade project one step closer
In addition to the housing project, the Queensland government also announced that a firm has been chosen for the $1.9 million upgrade to Berths 8 and 9 at the Port of Townsville.
Local business Bluewater Process Engineering will take on the work, which includes repairing concrete columns under the wharf to ensure they continue to remain operational.
Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the city is one of the biggest economic centres in the state, adding that he was pleased to see local firms bidding and winning large-scale contracts.
“The Palaszczuk government will continue investing to ensure this region has the infrastructure it needs to seize future opportunities. Best of all, this is a local tender which will support local jobs at a time we need it most,” he commented.
Repairs on Berths 8 and 9 are scheduled to get underway this month, and the project is due to finish in mid-2017.
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart stated that the project is just one of a number of exciting initiatives set to take place in the city over the coming months. For example, Queensland’s Accelerated Works Program will create 430 jobs in Townsville.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator