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  • Gavin King

    Tropic Now editor

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    Constructions jobs on offer as key projects ramp up

    The imminent start of major projects and redevelopments in the Cairns CBD has sparked a flurry of advertisements calling for contractors and suppliers.

    After nearly a decade in the doldrums, construction jobs in Cairns are finally being advertised in increasing volume and frequency.

    Both Hutchinsons and Prime Constructions are calling for expressions of interest from suppliers and contractors to help deliver a range of new projects including the Rydges Tradewinds redevelopment and multi-million dollar revamp of the Earl Court building on Spence St.

    With other projects set to ramp up in 2017, including the first tower of Nova City and the Cairns Performing Arts Centre, tradies and suppliers are set to reap the benefits of a rare building boom in the city.

    Hutchinsons is currently inviting subcontractors and supplies to submit quotes for the refurbishment of the historic Earl Court building on the corner of Lake and Spence Sts.

    The 1920s era building is tipped to be transformed into a multi-million dollar restaurant, bar and deli on the ground floor and commercial office space above.

    At the same time, Prime Constructions is seeking expressions of interest from suppliers and contractors for work on three new hotel and apartment projects in the Cairns CBD, funded by the GA Group.

    But with projects such as the Cairns Aquarium already soaking up much of the latent trades workforce in Cairns, construction industry figures predict the city will have to seek workers from outside the region.

    An advertisement from the Cairns-based company reads:

    "Prime Constructions are going to deliver Cairns' long promised building boom...do you want to be part of it?

    "Prime Constructions is proud to announce that it has recently signed head contracts for three new hotel and apartment projects in the Cairns CBD with works scheduled to commence in early 2017, continuing for two-and-a-half years.

    "Finance is in place, and we are ready to start procuring necessary materials and services.

    "To build great projects, we need a great team. We need suppliers able to provide large quantities of material, and highly motivated contractors that can provide sufficient resources to complete these projects with competitive pricing and meet timeframes."

    The most recent Cairns Watch report by Herron Todd White noted the number of general job ads being advertised in Cairns has "flattened over recent months, albeit at positive levels".

    The report calculated that the trend in the number of jobs advertised in October 2016 was 0.3 percent higher than it was in October 2015. 

    Economist Pete Faulkner from Conus notes that the local employment market has seen impressive growth.

    "On a trend basis employment in Cairns rose 1,000 in October, and this brings annual jobs growth in Cairns to 3,700 of which 1,400 have been full time positions," he said.

    "The rate of trend jobs growth in Cairns is now at +2.5 per cent, which is at its fastest this year."

    Click here to enquire about the Hutchinsons EOI, or here for the Prime Constructions EOI.