130 jobs up for grabs in new year construction boom

UP TO 130 chances to get a job will be available in Somerset next year as the council prepares to get started on 10 construction and maintenance projects.

The workers needed to replace 10 timber bridges across the Somerset region will not be outsourced but made up of council day labour.

The Federal Government will grant tender exemptions to the council for $5.9 million in the jointly funded bridge replacement projects.

Somerset Regional Council Mayor Graeme Lehmann said only a $1 million project on Pine Mountain Rd at the Ipswich boundary would be contracted out.

It will be 25% funded by Ipswich City Council, 25% by Somerset Regional Council and 50% by the Australian Government.

"We are grateful for the Australian Government's decision to allow us to use council day labour for 10 bridge constructions following our submission that there would significant local employment benefits from not contracting these jobs out," Cr Lehmann said.

"Most of the major bridge contractors are based outside of our region and we can keep jobs and skills in Somerset by using day labour."

Cr Lehmann said the council had received letters of support from several food and manufacturing businesses in the region supporting upgrading bridges, to ensure they can safely carry commercial loads.

"These key industries rely heavily on a reliable road network that allows them to carry heavy loads across the region," Cr Lehmann said.

"Unfortunately the council had no choice but to load limit many of these timber bridges for the safety or road users which impacts on these rural industries.

"Our bridges need to carry heavy loads to support our farmers and the council is committed to providing a strong rural road network for our residents and visitors."

Somerset Council will replace bridges on Pine Mountain Rd, Atkinson Dam Rd, England Creek Rd, Gregors Creek Rd, Western Branch Rd, Buaraba Creek Rd, Cooeeimbardi Rd, Whiting St in Moore and Hawthorne Rd at Linville.

All of the projects will start in 2018 with $1.3 million Pryde Creek Bridge near Fernvale, one of the first to get underway.

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