Construction projects to fuel employment

Qld projects starting in April are set to create 180 jobs, while South Australia is aiming for 2000 jobs in 2016

A number of construction projects will be fast-tracked to help raise employment rates in Queensland and South Australia.

In her first media conference for 2016, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the state government would bring forward two construction projects from July to April to provide 180 new jobs.

The move was in response to Queensland Nickel's recent decision to sack 270 staff. Ms Palaszczuk said the construction work would now begin in April and insisted that traineeships were part of the tender programs to be put out next week.

Ms Palaszczuk said the projects are the beginning of a Queensland Government drive to create jobs by pump-priming the public works sector of the Queensland economy, starting in regional Queensland. The $61 million in projects for North Queensland was "the first step" and she had written to all her directors-general asking that they also bring forward projects to try and find new jobs, she said.

Tenders for Bruce Highway overtaking lanes in three sections of the highway between Ayr and Ingham were brought forward and the work will start in April.

The government also plans to bring forward a $3 million tender for two new trade training centres in Townsville and Cairns, which have been on several government infrastructure budgets.

The South Australian Government also aims to create more than 2000 construction jobs in 2016 in the hope of boosting its economy, with unemployment in SA remaining the highest in the nation at 7.3% in November.

Work will begin on more than $2.5 billion of major projects, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephen Mullighan says, including the $985 million Northern Connector road upgrade, a new city high school and Adelaide's Festival Plaza redevelopment.

The $620 million Darlington Upgrade and $160 million O-Bahn tunnel are also due to start early in 2016 and together these three projects alone should support more than 850 jobs this year, according to Mr Mullighan.

The government has also committed $208 million to build 1000 public housing dwellings over 1000 days, a promise that featured in the state’s December mid-year budget review. Mr Mullighan said this plan would create about 400 jobs this year and another 500 a year in 2017 and 2018.