Business

'We don't want to leave' but no jobs: Gladstone worker

WORKERS hanging around in hope Stockland will start its Kin Kora expansion could be old and grey by the time the project kicks off.

For the past 12 months written statements from Stockland have varied slightly, but the message has been the same; plans are progressing but there's no date for construction yet.

It's not what electrician Joe Young wants to hear.

The 24-year-old has struggled to find work since finishing on Curtis Island and now that his partner been made redundant, they are preparing to pack their bags and leave town.

"You can't just sit around and not make any money," Mr Young said.

"We don't want to leave, but if there's no work, you don't have much of a choice.

"It really makes you feel for the people who have been here their whole lives.

"I have been listening out for news on Stockland, or anything really.

"(But) I think I will be gone before Stockland starts."

It's been three years since the shopping centre upgrade was approved by the council, almost two years since the company announced a start date, and a year and a half since that date passed.

Other projects announced by the company in the meantime are either finished, or well underway but in Gladstone the only sign of hope is the blank spaces on the sign outside Kin Kora shopping centre itself.

Three months in a row there's been no word on the board's decision and no green light for construction crews to start mobilising at the Kin Kora Shopping centre.

Not even the offer of a $400,000 discount on infrastructure charges from the council appears to have been enough to spur Stockland into action, leaving those hoping to stay in town for work wondering if they're waiting in vain.

It's been three years since the upgrade was approved by the council, almost two years since the company announced a start date, and, a year and a half since that date has been and gone.

Stockland's $150 million expansion promised to create 660 construction jobs and add 400 long term retail positions.

It's a far cry from the 25,000 that flocked to Curtis Island throughout for the LNG boom, but it would take 660 construction workers out of the job hunting game.

This week when The Observer asked Stockland if it would be starting work in Gladstone this month, before the council's offer for a discount expired, the response was the same:

"We are continuing to plan our proposed redevelopment… but have nothing definitive to announce at this time," a spokesperson said.

Stockland doesn't always take this long to start a project.

In September 2013 it announced a $222 million expansion west of Sydney and in December construction finished.

Works have also started at Stockland GreenHills in East Maitland, New South Wales, where a $377million expansion was announced in November.

The wait goes on.

Topics:  construction, employment, stockland, waiting, workers



Mining company loses legal battle over coal supply

A mine at Callide has lost a legal battle over coal supply

Tough new anti-smoking laws with hefty fines in Qld today

Rhiannon Wright and Sheridan Treadwell disagree with the hurdles imposed on them as smokers.

STATE government's tough new anti-smoking laws come into affect.

'Can't match': Gladstone rules out $2m tourism ship bid

RULED OUT: Council won't seek to have HMAS Tobruk sunk in the Gladstone region.

TOURISM opportunity buried as council unable to compete in bid.

Latest deals and offers

Top 10 wedding photographers in Gladstone

THEY say a picture speaks a thousand words. So when it's your job to capture a couple on their most important day - their wedding - it's a big deal.


Get Set for Summer!

Get Set for Summer! Win One of Ten...
Learn More

History comes alive at Back Plains celebration

Ian Mason wrote a book on the history of Back Plains and is launching it at a massive reunion event.

Reliving fascinating and rich history of Back Plains area

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Gympie Muster couch dumps down, but still a problem

TIPPING POINT: After an appalling year of couches being dumped at the end of the last Muster, festival organisers have taken litterbugs to task

EFFORTS to combat post-Muster couch dumping are proving effective

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 in unclaimed refunds

Muster-goers collectively left about $21,000 worth of unused spending funds when they failed to claim back money on their bands after exiting the Muster.

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 windfall for organisers

How high? Twin 20-storey high-rises plan for "over 50s"

A development application has been lodged with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to build two skyscrapers in Hervey Bay.

Developer says Bay needs to move with the times.

City View Hotel: From a pub to a backpackers

NEW LIFE: Hamish Parker has purchsed the City View Hotel and wants to turn it into an accomodation venue.

Architect picks up a little piece of history for a steal

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd