Min­ing spurs resur­gence

Jobs go beg­ging as real es­tate soars

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS - MICHAEL MADI­GAN

JOBS with six-fig­ure salaries are go­ing beg­ging and a real es­tate boom is blos­som­ing as the min­ing in­dus­try wakes from a seven-year slum­ber and fu­els an eco­nomic resur­gence across re­gional Queens­land.

In Mount Isa, global de­mand for cop­per and zinc is un­der­writ­ing an eco­nomic resur­gence steadily push­ing up real es­tate prices, and frus­trat­ing bosses who can­not find enough work­ers to fill po­si­tions. With around 1400 va­can­cies in the Queens­land min­ing sec­tor – half of them pay­ing more than $100,000 a year – min­ing bosses have found them­selves up against strong com­pe­ti­tion in civil con­struc­tion.

In Mackay the jobs are go­ing beg­ging and the rental mar­ket is tight­en­ing rapidly, while real es­tate prices have soared in Mo­ran­bah in Mackay’s hinterland by more than 20 per cent in the past year.

Mackay Mayor Greg Wil­liamson said there were as many as 2800 jobs (in all sec­tors) on of­fer as re­gion wit­nesses a min­ing re­cov­ery Cr Wil­liams sees as more sus­tain­able than the early 21st cen­tury boom.

Cap­i­tal works around Mackay are also bol­ster­ing the con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

But it’s the coal prices, which put the spot price for ther­mal coal near a $120 a tonne, which are cre­at­ing the long-term em­ploy­ment prospects and fu­elling wage growth in a city where grow­ing busi­ness con­fi­dence has re­placed the gloom.

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