Study Shows Pacific Highway Upgrade Reaping Job Rewards for North Coast
Federal Member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker has welcomed a new report that shows North Coast residents are picking up more than a third of all jobs associated with the $7 billion Pacific Highway Upgrade.
The construction workforce and accommodation study of areas between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour was undertaken to assist in planning for the 155-kilometre section of the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade.
"This report clearly shows the Pacific Highway Upgrade project is translating to local jobs for local people," Mr Hartsuyker said.
"Over a third of the staff directly employed on this major infrastructure project are local residents. You can also add to this thousands of indirect jobs created through subcontractors working on the project and businesses who are supplying goods and services.
"I've seen first-hand the number of businesses employing local staff. Contractor CMC Constructions at Halfway Creek sources 80 per cent of their staff from the North Coast.
“There are people from Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Corindi, Nana Glen and all parts in between working on the Pacific Highway Upgrade in a range of roles, from administration and engineering to frontline traffic control.
“We now have a trained local workforce which has key transferrable skills that will help residents to move into other regional construction projects as they come up.
"Once construction work on the Coffs Harbour Bypass starts; even more direct and indirect job opportunities will be available to these local workers.
“There are also many companies supplying goods and services to the highway upgrade, such as Expressway Spares at Port Macquarie, which works on the heavy machinery used on the Upgrade and the Coffs Harbour Pre-Cast girder factory, which both employ large numbers of local staff.
“It is clear the unprecedented $7 billion Federal Government investment in the Pacific Highway duplication is reaping rewards for the North Coast economy, with the region set to benefit directly for years to come,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
Other survey results show about 65% of workers rent their accommodation off local businesses and home owners on the North Coast.
It also found 43% of workers who relocated as a family unit with their partners.
Key findings from the State Government survey include:
- About 72% will work on the upgrade for between one and three years.
- About 65% of those who relocate rent local accommodation.
- About 50% have worked on the upgrade for as many as eight years.
- About 43% who relocated had a family or partner relocate with them.
- About 38% who relocated to the area have joined a local sporting team or club.
Mr Hartsuyker said Pacific Highway Upgrade will create 4000 direct jobs and 12,500 indirect jobs between now and the projected completion date of 2020.