Australia's decade-long mining boom may be losing steam, but that doesn't mean the resources sector overall stands to shrink.
In fact, a major push for more coal and liquefied natural gas extraction could yield thousands of new construction jobs. The Queensland government recently urged new Prime Minister Tony Abbott to consider fast-tracking the approvals process for new LNG projects, which Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says would open the floodgates for new jobs.
The two government leaders have been on the phone in the past week, where they hashed out details and debated the best course going forward. Mr Newman reportedly told the new prime minister to "get out of the way" so that the state could create the construction jobs it needs to propel its economy forward.
Specifically, Mr Newman discussed extraction from the Galilee Basin region, which holds huge potential for coal exports.
"I said without any hesitation that we need to see the massive Galilee Basin coal projects approved as soon as possible, because they will see thousands of jobs created over the next few years and billions of dollars investment in the state," he told ABC radio.
Putting a focus on LNG
Queensland is quickly becoming a hotbed for LNG extraction activity, which Mr Newman hopes will continue to create construction jobs and drive up demand for workers in the skilled trades. The resources industry has long been the primary source of several construction-related jobs, including welders, electricians, geologists, diesel mechanics and related positions.
Queensland is already banking on a new $15 billion LNG extraction project from Arrow Energy, which could have a strong impact on the state's jobs and economy.
Mr Newman asserts that the red tape currently blocking several large resources companies from setting up shop in Queensland must be removed, which could prompt many of these firms to once again pick up spending. As they invest in more projects, demand for skilled workers will follow.
The Queensland State Development Ministry stated that the construction of three LNG plants in the state has already shown that the resources sector can create thousands of jobs during construction. Out of the 10,148 workers needed to complete the projects, about 7,600 were skilled tradespeople.
More construction projects will also lead to a higher demand for hired construction equipment, which Kennards Hire is prepared to handle with its locations throughout Australia.