Thursday, 14 April 2022
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) today welcomed the Queensland Government’s initiative to financially support tradespeople relocating from other states not impacted by the floods to assist in the rebuild following the recent extreme weather.
The Tradies in Paradise Incentive Scheme will target up to 1,000 qualified tradespeople and building industry professionals from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia by offering one-off financial incentives of $1,750 to take up employment of flood reconstruction work for impacted regions in Queensland.
The Insurance Council supports the Queensland Government’s decision to exclude New South Wales tradespeople from the Scheme, due to the large post-flood reconstruction effort required in the state’s north.
As of Tuesday 13 April, more than 97,000 claims have been lodged relating to the south-east Queensland floods, at an estimated cost of $1.363 billion.
Community recovery from this extreme weather event has been impacted by the limited number of available trades in Queensland, compounded by a number of other factors including a very active home building market and a skills drain through the covid border closures.
The Scheme is only eligible to tradespeople or building industry professionals with relevant Queensland accreditation to perform the work.
Mutual licensing recognition of builders and tradespeople between states and territories would help address this issue by utilising a national workforce to support faster community recovery from disaster.
Quote attributable to ICA CEO Andrew Hall:
The Insurance Council welcomes the Tradies in Paradise Incentive Scheme, as a critical shortage of builders and trades continues to pose a challenge for insurers in repairing homes and businesses in regions impacted by the floods.
We know the building industry has been facing a shortage of trades for some time, partly due to a strong home construction market, but also from impacts of Queensland’s licensing requirements.
Since late last year, the ICA has been working with state and territory government and building industry associations to increase the availability of trades required to repair and rebuild properties following natural disasters and investigate the feasibility of bringing in qualified trades from overseas.
Insurers are committed to working with customers as their homes and businesses are repaired, and hopefully this initiative will help national mobility to occur again so help can be deployed where it is needed.