Short-term relief for Townsville’s building industry

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Townsville is experiencing a small surge in building confidence following the start of the North Queensland Stadium.

In comments obtained via The Courier Mail, Townsville plumber and Project Manager for Tacoma Plumbing Brendon Owen said he thought the region is on the way up, acknowledging the safety at heights was the most popular course for tradies across Queensland in 2018.

“The employment rate is going through the roof. We’re looking for more apprentices coming through the books all the time,” Mr Owen said.

Mr Owen said the North Queensland stadium was one of a few major government and private projects he was working on, which included the recently finished student accommodation at Pimlico.

He said Tacoma Plumbing was also working on the Mater Hospital, Fairfield shopping centre, PresCare aged care facility in Douglas, Townsville Hospital and the Australian Taxation Office on Flinders St.

Mr Owen said the rise in building projects would have a wider-reaching effect on Townsville.

“Everyone is making money. It just makes its way down the food chain,” he said.

Analysis of unemployment data by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland showed Townsville’s economy faces structural decline unless new projects are approved.

CCIQ chief economist Marcus Smith wrote Townsville needed to attract more investment, both locally and abroad.

“While short-term projects around stadium construction and vital infrastructure such as water pipelines provide positive media headlines, the key economic indicators around labour force participation in the region point to an urgency in arresting what has been a below-par performance next to comparable centres nationally,” he wrote. “The Adani Carmichael project is a much-welcome project for a city … but it also needs to form part of a longer-term strategy.”

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