Sunshine Coast Construction Industry ‘extremely fearful’ of post pandemic impacts

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Sunshine Coast subcontractors are calling for Government action to help keep them afloat in a post-pandemic environment, which has left many looking for work. A group of Hutchinson Builders subcontractors have banded together to seek action on the proposed Surf Ranch Sunshine Coast project in a bid to help keep their businesses alive.

Regional Manager of Hutchinson Builders, Levi Corby, says the Sunshine Coast, as with other regional cities, needs major projects accelerated so that construction workers in the region are not at risk of losing employment.

“Pipeline projects need to be pulled forward to save jobs. Hutchies has a great responsibility to our subcontractors and suppliers to support master-planned developments, they provide wonderful long term and secure employment opportunities for our workforce.

“The Government’s support is desperately needed if we’re to avoid an even greater impact to our already vulnerable industry. We’re all so focused on recovery and forward planning that without these genuine opportunities to underpin our efforts, we’re extremely fearful of the long-lasting impact COVID-19 will have. Surf Ranch Sunshine Coast will create and protect jobs now, the lasting economic benefits of an asset like Surf Ranch to a regional city is undeniable,” said Corby.

Denny Lambert, Business Development Manager for building and construction materials company Hanson, says that the planned Surf Ranch project earmarked for Coolum on the Sunshine Coast would be a fantastic opportunity for job creation.

“Given the current and foreseeable impacts that COVID-19 have and will continue to have on the economy, I feel it’s important that these types of master-planned developments are brought forward and commence without delay to ensure minimal impact on the local construction workforce by creating jobs.”

“The Sunny Coast has been noted as a growth corridor, and in line with other major projects such as Sun Central (Maroochy City Centre), the Surf Ranch will really put us on the map. As a local resident and surfer, the project is an exciting one for me personally and I look forward to hopefully playing a part during the construction,” said Lambert.

Will Wilson, Regional Manager for Master Builders Queensland says given the current health crisis and potential economic fall-out, the proposed Surf Ranch Sunshine Coast project would be an important part of the Sunshine Coast and Queensland’s economic recovery.

“It will provide an immediate boost in employment during construction with a significant addition of much needed jobs as it comes to fruition. The construction and development would provide confidence in these uncertain times.

“With the current drastic reduction in the pipeline of building and construction on the Sunshine Coast, the scale and timeline of this project is exactly what is needed,” commented Wilson.

Building and plastering company Scooter Group has also thrown its support behind the project saying it’s the perfect opportunity to create jobs and tourism in a part of Queensland that’s been struck hard.

“The full impact of COVID19 on the industry is still unknown, but proceeding with this project would not only create short term jobs, but also jobs for many years to come,” said a Scooter Group spokesperson.

WSL, Consolidated Properties Group and Hutchinson Builders are leading the charge behind the proposed $1.24 billion Kelly Slater Wave Pool proposition at Coolum, including associated tourism, local infrastructure, public green space and residential development.

“The community support received over the last almost 12 months has been overwhelmingly positive and seeing all the continued support coming through from the construction industry as well has assured us that we’re bringing the right project to the right region,” Andrew Stark said.

“This is a game changing project that will take 10 years to build. Over that time, we will be employing and involving hundreds of suppliers and contractors. Surf Ranch Sunshine Coast will give hundreds of tourists every year a reason to spend more time and money on the Sunshine Coast.

“Our expert economic modellers, Lucid Economics, tell us that it will easily create 10,000 jobs over that timeframe, with 300 jobs implemented before the end of 2020. All very good news for the Sunshine Coast & QLD economy,” Mr Stark added.

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