Post-Debbie work boom, but jobs are going out of town
THE Whitsunday region is undergoing a mini jobs boom in the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie but there is a struggle to keep jobs local.
"There is a demand for trade-related activities across the board but more so for glaziers, fencers and landscapers across mainly Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach," Whitsunday Chamber of Commerce vice-president Mark Beale said.
"I am hearing that tradespeople are being inundated with quotes and over the next few weeks construction will start on several projects."
But Mr Beale said in his role as principal of Ray White Whitsunday he had noticed a lot of tradies were being employed from out of the region with an influx of specialised trades, such as builders, looking for rentals in recent weeks.
"Out of some 700 properties I now have no houses to rent and only a few units are vacant, five or six, because so many tradespeople have come to town," he said.
"The insurance companies are continuing to employ from the bigger regional centres - from Brisbane to Cairns - rather than locally and I am not sure how we change that because they have existing contracts in place."
Mr Beale said the hospitality sector was also experiencing a resurgence after a brief shutdown period for repairs to restaurants, cafes and hotels.
"I've had reports from hospitality businesses that since reopening it's been the busiest two weeks of trade in the past 12 months," he said.
"So many locals are getting out and about supporting these local businesses which is allowing them to rehire."