Cairns needs more ma­jor projects

The Cairns Post - - NEWS - CHRIS CALCINO chris.calcino@news.com.au

A PRE­DICTED 21 per cent con­struc­tion trade short­age in Cairns next year will be short­lived un­less more ma­jor projects start kick­ing up dust.

Crys­tal­brook Col­lec­tion’s ho­tel triple-header is em­ploy­ing about 650 peo­ple — enough to meet dead­lines, although CEO Mark Davie said there was room for an­other 100 work­ers on site.

“We’re not eas­ily fill­ing them but we have enough to get us through to our tar­geted dates,” he said.

“We will keep those 650 guys oc­cu­pied through to Novem­ber when we open our first ho­tel (Ri­ley)

“There are 250 peo­ple on site there now, and when they are freed up in Novem­ber we will use them to beef-up our other two sites (Flynn and Bai­ley). Come June next year, we ex­pect our sec­ond ho­tel to be fin­ished, so we will just have the fin­ish­ing trades on the new Flynn ho­tel.”

Lat­est Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics fig­ures re­veal the con­struc­tion in­dus­try makes up 8.2 per cent of to­tal jobs in Cairns, em­ploy­ing 8000 staff full-time and a fur­ther 1500 on a part-time ros­ter.

Con­struc­tion Skills Queens­land di­rec­tor of data and ev­i­dence Robert Sobyra last week fore­cast a 21 per cent con­struc­tion labour short­fall in Cairns in 2019.

Mr Davie said the Crys­tal­brook ef­fect had a life­span.

“Once our sites are all com­pleted in the third quar­ter of next year, I imag­ine the sit­u­a­tion will be re­versed, un­for­tu­nately,” he said.

“Hope­fully some of these other projects that are be­ing talked about will start to hap­pen, like Nova and maybe even the global tourism hub.”

Crys­tal­brook’s 110-apart­ment de­vel­op­ment Bai­ley is sched­uled to open in March.

“Un­like some of these other projects, we aren’t in a po­si­tion where we re­ally need to do pre­sales,” Mr Davie said.

“So we will re­lease those units closer to the date of com­ple­tion.”

WE HAVE ENOUGH TO GET US THROUGH TO OUR TAR­GETED DATES

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Head of Pro­duce, Wool­worths. Big, juicy Aussie blue­ber­ries are here. This spring time fruit grows best in milder cli­mates like northern NSW and south­ern Queens­land, due to the cooler nights and warm days. The over­all fore­cast is look­ing pos­i­tive and you can ex­pect good prices this sea­son. North Queens­land’s cool­erthan-nor­mal win­ter de­layed the ripen­ing of our cer­ti­fied or­ganic gourmet toma­toes. But we’ll now see an ex­cel­lent sup­ply of qual­ity fruit un­til Oc­to­ber. Ex­cel­lent weather con­di­tions in grow­ing re­gions have pro­duced strong crop vol­umes this sea­son. We ex­pect to see sweet, crisp fruit and sta­ble prices.

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