"Sugar hit" to bring a good dose of jobs to Gladstone
A SUGAR hit of more than 40 full time jobs is on the way for Gladstone.
The jobs come through the fast tracking of $15 million in already approved works by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk this week.
The works include a $9.4 million development at HillClose Estate in Clinton, $4.7 million in Gladstone Area Water Board projects and $600,000 for school maintenance.
This is timely news following recent redundancies at QAL and anywhere from 10-20 people walking into Gladstone recruitment agencies each day.
A manager of one agency said 40 new jobs was good but there needed to be more, with people waiting for more projects to go ahead.
The State Government-run HillClose Estate project is expected to create 27 jobs to construct residential subdivisions on vacant land only, without the homes.
This will include roads, stormwater drains, sewerage reticulation, power and phones lines and construction of the second and main entrance on to Harvey Rd.
The works are expected to begin at the end of the year, three years ahead of schedule, according to Economic Development Queensland.
Gladstone member Glenn Butcher said the decision to fast-track the estate was not about putting more pressure on the real estate industry that has hit a seven-year high vacancy rate at 10%.
"We're not hell bent on selling the land. This is about getting people employed," Mr Butcher said. "The money has been allocated to do this work and we were always going to do it; we have just moved it forward.
"We're trying to stimulate some form of work. It may not fit the job losses at QAL but we are giving some jobs to stimulate the Gladstone economy."
Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Stuart Randle said it would only be a "sugar hit" but he was expecting better news soon.
"Stockland, I think, will make an announcement in the next two weeks about its development," he said.
That could mean a further 600 construction jobs and 400 jobs in retail once completed.
The water board works were for six projects, including a new fish hatchery for Lake Awoonga, mobile generators for pumps maintenance and improved security. The water board projects were expected to start between May and July and should create 14 full time jobs.
The maintenance projects at Clinton, Kin Kora, Rosedale and Tannum Sands High State Schools will create more than one full time job.