Construction job losses as new industry to rule in Gladstone

GLADSTONE workers will need to re-skill to survive in a job market that is expected to dramatically change in the next five years, Federal Government projections suggest.

Gladstone and Rockhampton are expected to enjoy the most substantial jobs growth in Queensland's major regions, with new jobs in health care and education and training expected to quickly become  drawcards for jobseekers.

An extra 2000 jobs in health care and social services and 1700 in education and training will offset significant job losses in the resources and construction sectors.

They account for 3700 of the 5800 new jobs expected to be created in the Fitzroy region by 2020, a 5.1% growth.

Jobs in the construction and mining industries will take the biggest hit, with construction set to fall 1200 and mining 500.

Manufacturing and agriculture, forestry and fishing are the only other industries expected to fall, each shedding 200 jobs.

The end of construction of Curtis Island's GLNG and APLNG plants is a major factor behind job losses in construction and mining, according to recent Queensland Treasury projections to 2022.

The projections, which outline three possible scenarios and take into account potential future projects, reveal the number of fly-in-fly-out workers is expected to fall from 1580 in June this year to 430 in June next year and hit a low of 400-410 by June 2018.

The QCLNG project on Curtis Island in January, 2014.
The QCLNG project on Curtis Island in January, 2014. Bechtel

Those numbers are expected to reach a high of 430-1220 by June 2019.

But the projection also falls in line with a trend where the number of development applications lodged to Gladstone Regional Council in 2016 is at a five-year low, with seven in July, just behind the five-year low of four in December last year. 

Approvals for housing and units is also at a five-year low, with just 10 in July compared to a staggering 125 in July 2013. 

But the region is expected to punch well above its weight as, outside of Brisbane, our jobs growth is beaten only by the state's major population centres, including the Sunshine Coast (6.9%), Cairns (7.8%), and the Gold Coast (11.8%).

Jobs growth in the central Queensland regions of Wide Bay and Mackay is projected at 4.9% and 4.3% respectively.

Interestingly, while Mackay will suffer a similar blow to its mining sector, shedding 1300 jobs, its education and training sector, the industry that will enjoy the largest growth, will bring just 1100 jobs.

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