Sahdow Housing Minister and Burnett MP Steve Bennett with Gympie MP Tony Perrett at the Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival on Saturday morning.
Sahdow Housing Minister and Burnett MP Steve Bennett with Gympie MP Tony Perrett at the Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival on Saturday morning. LEEROY TODD

Subbies 'the lifeblood of towns such as Gympie'

ENSURING protections for construction industry workers were among the issues raised with the Shadow Housing and Public Works Minister, Stephen Bennett in a visit to the Gympie region on the weekend.

Member for Gympie Tony Perrett invited the Shadow Minister to be updated about the concerns of subcontractors and other associated construction industry stakeholders. 

"As I travel across the Wide Bay and throughout Queensland, it's clear that real reforms need to be implemented to better ensure subcontractors are being paid for the work they do and the materials they supply on time," Mr Bennett said.

"The Palaszczuk Government needs to really listen to subcontractors and provide the support they need to address the appalling ongoing payments issues.

"As a former builder, with about 25 years under my belt, I've seen the devastation first-hand when subbies are not paid and they're owed by the principal contractor.

"We must protect the small contracting businesses that are the lifeblood of our towns such as Gympie," he said.

Mr Perrett, said supporting the local construction industry was a vital factor in ensuring strong growth for the region.

"Construction contributes 8.8% or $189 million of our region's $2.1 billion Gross Regional Product and is the largest contributor in the services sector.

"The industry which is centred on small businesses, contractors, subcontractors, tradies, suppliers, workers, and their families is our third largest industry sector, after agriculture, forestry and fishing and manufacturing," he said.

Mr Bennett said while the Palaszczuk Labor government claimed to have been 'governing from the regions' in the Wide Bay this month, Gympie was overlooked.

"There was a missed opportunity for the Minister and this government to hear first-hand from the people of Gympie, particularly those small local businesses within the construction industry who face ongoing issues," Mr Bennett said.

"Tony Perrett and I spoke about the number of retirees who call Gympie home and the issues surrounding the Retirement Village Act that continues to be another critical issue currently being overlooked by the government," he said.

Mr Bennett said by coming to the Gympie region it was beneficial in providing further insight into public housing and emergency accommodation shortages that continue to plague the Wide Bay region.

"The public housing resources and crisis accommodation facilities simply aren't being committed to by this Labor Government," he said.