1000 jobs to go at QBuild

MORE than 1000 people will lose their jobs and offices around the state will close when the State Government's construction businesses merge this year.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg outlined his plan to merge QBuild and Project Services in the state budget and estimated the move could save the government up to $120 million per year.

QBuild provides maintenance and construction work throughout the government sector and Project Services is the Government's building consultant.

The merger will see the roles of 17 regional offices condensed to five offices in Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Cairns, Brisbane and Townsville.

Current QBuild offices, including in Mackay, Maryborough and Caboolture, will be reduced to service centre capacity.

Of the job losses, 550 will go from QBuild - most of them from South east Queensland - but 87 positions will be axed from regional Queensland.

About 350 positions will also be scrapped from the Project Services workforce and 150 vacant positions across both businesses not filled.

Defending the major restructure, Dr Flegg outlined how QBuild was running inefficiently and often subject to major cost blow outs.

Dr Flegg said the government business would be subject to "contestability" and if it proved to be inefficient, more job losses could be on the horizon.

"In a lot of cases the price of QBuild doing a minor reactive job, like a broken window in a school, is two, three, four times the cost of getting a local person to do it."

Dr Flegg said the job losses would come from administrative and non-front line sectors.

QBuild will still be used within the government sector.

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