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Tradies travelling north for work

The latest licence statistics from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) indicate that a high number of trades have crossed the border over the past 18 months.

According to the QBCC, the jump in licensee numbers is the biggest in more than five years. The number of tradies moving from New South Wales and Victoria to Queensland has increased significantly since 2016. For NSW, there have been 408 licensees in 2021 compared to 283 in 2016; and for Victoria, 161 licensees in 2021 compared to 85 in 2016.

QBCC Interim Commissioner Richard Cassidy says Queensland’s building and construction industry has remained strong during the pandemic.

“Queensland has been the place to be during the pandemic and we’ve kept building sites open across our great state,” he says. “Tradies in Australia have jumped at the chance to share in our building confidence, deciding to move north for the career opportunities we have to offer.”

Cassidy says tradespeople moving to Queensland from interstate or New Zealand can apply for a QBCC licence under the Mutual Recognition Act.

The QBCC approved a total of 821 mutual recognition licences from Australian states and territories and New Zealand in 2021, compared to 795 in 2020 and 578 in 2016.

Under the mutual recognition pathway, a licensee from another Australian jurisdiction or New Zealand notifies the QBCC of their intention to carry out building work in Queensland.

The QBCC is required to issue the mutual recognition applicant with a QBCC licence in the appropriate equivalent class of work within one month of receiving such a notification.

“A building boom means trade contractors are currently in high demand, which is good for the economy and good for the building industry,” Cassidy says.

Trades, including builders, cabinet makers, carpenters, bricklayers, concreters, gasfitters and air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics have joined the list moving to Queensland.

The QBCC urges home and property owners to only use a licensed tradesperson, regardless of the size of the project. To help with this, the QBCC offers a free licence search facility.

Further information about mutual recognition is available on the QBCC website.

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