Confidence in the Whitsunday building sector could be restored to levels not seen since before the Global Financial Crisis.
Ray White principal Mark Beale says while Cyclone Debbie has had a devastating effect, there will be a “silver lining” for some businesses.
“It will take us somewhere back to the days where town was full of people post GFC, it won’t get quite there at this stage but over the next five years,” he said.
“(And) once the new town plan comes into action in June that will hopefully stimulate more development and create more jobs.”
The Whitsunday building industry once rivalled tourism as one of the dominant job sectors in the region.
While the sector is no longer second to tourism, Colony Homes director Clifford Hill thinks the damage left by Cyclone Debbie will fire up development.
“The Whitsundays will never be the same again, it’s going to fire up from now on, mainly because we have (more than $1 billion of damage) through the region,” he said.
“There is a lot of damage and repair work, it will probably take two to three years to get through it all.”
Mr Hill described the first six weeks since Cyclone Debbie hit as “quiet” but said activity was starting to pick up.
“Six weeks since the cyclone we’ve gone quiet but its a transitional period, in the last two to three days there has been a bit more enquiry,” he said.
“What’s happening right now is that a lot of quoting is going on and a lot of those jobs have been allocated and we are going to see an influx of tradesmen coming into the area.”
With the market softening in big cities, Mr Hill predicts there will be strong demand for full-time trade workers to return to North Queensland.
Source: Whitsunday Times.