News

So where are those 550 jobs Julia?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard chats to members of the public in Ipswich.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard chats to members of the public in Ipswich. Rob Williams

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's promise to deliver 1400 jobs within Ipswich in flood reconstruction has fallen significantly short - by 550.

Ms Gillard announced a $470 million road rebuilding project during a visit to Ipswich only months after the devastating floods which wreaked havoc in Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley in 2011.

But initial estimates of the jobs bonanza proved too good to be true.

The project came in under budget, costing $303 million and created only 850 temporary jobs from the promised total.

A Federal Government spokesman pointed the finger at the former ALP State Government, saying the figures announced by Ms Gillard were based on the estimates of its staff.

The jobs shortfall drew criticism from Ipswich West MP Sean Choat, who said the Prime Minister should have had concrete information before making the announcement.

"If they are going to make that sort of announcement it can be a folly, because unless you have got advice from the people that are going to undertake the work, it can be difficult to establish how many people and how much money is needed," he said.

"It's disappointing if you have got to a position where it could have been 1400 and it's almost half that. Sometimes people can over promise.

"1400 jobs in that small geographical area can provide hope, but the message can be lost in the politics."

1400 jobs in that small geographical area can provide hope, but the message can be lost in the politics.

A spokesman for Queensland's Department of Transport and Main Roads said the announcement of $470 million was an estimate of the scope of recovery and reconstruction works required to restore the network to a safe and "trafficable" standard.

"Detailed inspections revealed recovery work alone was all that was required in some instances, reducing the estimate," the spokesman added.

Minister Assisting on Queensland Flood Recovery, Senator Joe Ludwig, responded on behalf of the Prime Minister, saying the Gillard Government has been working hard to get Queenslanders back on their feet.

"This includes standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the people of Ipswich to deliver the infrastructure which is required," the spokesman said.

Mr Choat said despite the job target not being reached, he was pleased with the reconstruction effort.

"I'm grateful for the work that has been done with the Ipswich City Council," he said. "We have a long way to go to bring the community back to what it was."

The six roads included in the project were:

  • Ipswich-Boonah Rd
  • Ipswich-Rosewood Rd
  • Rosewood-Warrill
  • View Rd
  • Haigslea-Amberley Rd
  • Rosewood-Marburg Rd
  • Rosewood-Laidley Rd.

The Transport and Main Roads spokesman said more than 298km of road network, 98 structures such as bridges and 11 earthworks/ batters suffered damage and are currently being repaired in the Brisbane metropolitan region, including Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley.

Topics:  flood reconstruction julia gillard



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