Builder Barry Hanson (left) has been lending a hand around Ipswich re-building homes after the flood like Basin Pocket resident Nick Manning.
Builder Barry Hanson (left) has been lending a hand around Ipswich re-building homes after the flood like Basin Pocket resident Nick Manning. Rob Williams

Tradesmen to be in high demand

AS the flood recovery enters the next stage, experienced tradesmen like Barry Hanson will come under increased demand.

The 66-year-old Ipswich builder who has been through this all before in 1974, has been working four different jobs and up to 18 hours a day to help flood victims get back into their homes.

He said he had seen the financial and emotional strain the disaster was beginning to have on people who, more than two weeks later, were still unsure of how the repair bill would be paid.

Mr Hanson said there was also uncertainty among tradesmen about how to approach the recovery effort.

“There are similarities between this disaster and the storm at The Gap in November 2008 – a lot of builders went broke there because they weren't getting paid,” Mr Hanson said.

“Some of these young builders could go down the gurgler through no fault of their own.”

One of Mr Hanson's clients is Basin Pocket resident Nick Manning, whose house on McGill Street was almost up to its ceiling in the Bremer River.

The house will require an estimated $40,000 in repairs following the flood – a bill for which Mr Manning will have to delve into his superannuation to cover.

He said there was likely to be a significant delay in getting an insurance assessor to his home.

Master Builders Association of Queensland executive director Graham Cuthbert said he was confident Queensland tradesmen could handle the extra workload, provided people were patient.

He said one of the association's current concerns was flood victims replacing wall sheeting while the timber framework was still wet, leaving it vulnerable to mould.

The Building Standards Authority recommends the moisture content should be less than 16 per cent.

Testing kits are available at hardware stores.



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