Highway upgrade sparks jobs boom for Coffs Coast/Northern Rivers region

Media Release

DC219/2016

09 December 2016

Joint release with:

Kevin Hogan

Federal Member for Page

Duncan Gay

NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

Chris Gulaptis

NSW Member for Clarence

  • 2,500 jobs created by Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade project
  • Jobs to flow from $1 billion in civil works contracts for project
  • Road fatalities halved since the Pacific Highway upgrade began

Thousands of jobs will be created throughout the Coffs Coast and Northern Rivers regions thanks to $1 billion worth of major civil work packages which have gone to tender for the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade.

Work is now happening on 90 kilometres of the 155 kilometres of the Woolgoolga to Ballina project, including 26 kilometres of mainline construction between Woolgoolga to Glenugie. Mainline construction on other sections will progressively start during 2017.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the flow of funding and investment in the upgrade would underpin the success of businesses of all sizes throughout the region.

“The numbers have been crunched and it's fantastic news for the families and businesses of the region—thousands of jobs being created or supported by the Australian Government's investment in duplicating the Pacific Highway,” Mr Chester said.

“Work on all projects along the length of the Pacific Highway is currently employing about 3,100 people, injecting money into local economies throughout the state.

“This comes on top of the immense safety benefits of the Pacific Highway upgrade, with the number of fatalities continuing to trend down from more than 50 a year to fewer than 25 now.”

New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay said last month's announcement of around $1 billion worth of contracts for the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the Pacific Highway upgrade sparked the jobs bonanza.

“The figures on this project just keep getting better and better, the upgrades so far have seen the road toll more than halve since we began and now we have thousands of additional jobs for the community,” Mr Gay said.

“This project is of such a massive scale that people could start their apprenticeships on this highway and finish them as fully qualified tradespeople.”

Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the highway upgrade was supporting and creating both direct and indirect jobs throughout the region.

“We are looking at about 900 jobs on site for the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the upgrade, with an estimated 2,500 direct jobs to be created at peak construction,” Mr Hogan said.

“Every time someone working on the Pacific-Highway upgrade fuels up, buys lunch, stays in local accommodation or goes to local businesses to purchase goods and services, they are injecting money into the local economy.”

New South Wales Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said $1 billion worth of contracts were recently announced for tender and will result in impressive job results for the local community.

“The direct job figures are good but the indirect jobs figures are even better, there will be an estimate 7,500 indirect jobs as a result of this massive road project and I know many in the community are looking forward to this economic boom.”

“The Pacific Highway upgrade is Australia's largest regional infrastructure project and it will reduce travel times for motorists and road freight, improve safety and ensure the Mid-North Coast is future ready.”

The Australian and New South Wales governments are jointly funding the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade on an 80:20 basis.