Release type: Media Release


Far North Queensland jobs supported by Rudd Government Stimulus


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Minister for Employment, Julia Gillard, today outlined to the Parliament the challenges Far North Queensland is facing during the global recession and the steps the Rudd Government is taking to stimulate jobs in the region.

Ms Gillard was answering a question about how the Government is supporting jobs. She chose the example of the Electorate of Leichhardt where the Government is investing over $150 million in education infrastructure projects, $1.4 million in defence housing, $4.3 million in community based infrastructure including the Government’s black spot program and will be building 218 new social houses.

Ms Gillard said 50 workers are directly involved in building the $3.2 million Edge Hill State School’s multi-purpose hall. Instead of laying off staff, local employer Metrobuild has been able to employ six new site foreman, two labourers, and four other project staff and an apprentice.

The same company is engaging 19 sub-contractors employing staff in a $200,000 refurbishment of Kuranda State School alone.

Member for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour, said the Rudd Government stimulus package is supporting jobs in Far North Queensland and ensuring that local business are cushioned as much as possible against the effects of the downturn.

Mr Turnour welcomed the Government’s investment in the region and also the new $100 million Apprentice Kickstart program to support up to 21,000 young Australians entering traditional trades across the country this summer.

He said the new program will not only give young apprentices in Far North Queensland an opportunity to begin their working life, it will also help local businesses build the skills the need for when the economy improves.