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27 August 2019
Master Builders has major reservations with the Queensland Government’s recent announcement that it will rebuild QBuild citing concerns with the commerciality of the decision.
While Master Builders welcomes plans to employ apprentices and boost and build skills in the building and construction industry, there is a question mark around the economic feasibility of QBuild delivering more apprenticeships.
Master Builders Deputy CEO Paul Bidwell also warned that the new look QBuild could compete with the private sector, doing more harm than good.
“Ensuring the government is equipped to respond to natural disasters is one issue, but what is the problem they are really trying to fix?” asked Mr Bidwell.
“Our concerns are that the building work that QBuild is slated to undertake is currently being completed by the private sector, which actually allows the government to be more accountable to the taxpayers of Queensland.
“And despite what Minister de Brenni has implied, providing jobs in the regions does not necessarily mean direct government employment.
“We would much rather see the state government continue their role as managing the procurement process , as well as focusing on increasing spending on the construction and maintenance of public buildings, rather than dipping their toes back into actual building work.
The role of the former QBuild, now Building & Asset Services, changed in mid-2013, when it moved from hands-on building work to facilitating government building.
“At the end of the day, the state government must deliver value for Queensland’s taxpayers and from where we stand, it’s hard to see that a re-booted QBuild can perform this work more cost effectively than the private sector.
“There could be some benefit in the more remote parts of the state, but we remain to be convinced. The reality is, we have members from the private sector in Longreach and Barcaldine who work right across far Western Queensland.
“The private sector also has no problem with taking on apprentices, providing the pipeline of work is available. If QBuild’s new role was to disrupt the amount of work available, demand for apprentices in the private sector would naturally also be impacted.”
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