Budget delivers massive regional housing program for essential workers

Published Tuesday, 13 June, 2023 at 02:40 PM


Premier and Minister for the Olympic and Paralympic Games
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen and Minister for Public Works and Procurement
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

  • $118.2 million to build and maintain housing for essential workers in health, education and emergency services — freeing up regional rental housing.
  • $39 million to double the trades workforce and commit to more good jobs for Queensland’s tradespeople.
  • $23.6 million to enhance QBuild depots to build and maintain more homes across Queensland.

Queensland’s 2023-24 State Budget is delivering the state’s largest ever investment in government employee housing to take pressure off regional housing markets and bring down the cost of renting.

This year a $118.2 million commitment is the next instalment of a $519 million, four-year program to build more than 400 homes and maintain an existing portfolio of around 3000 homes for frontline workers in regional communities, helping to ease pressure on rental markets.

The boost to public works also saw the government’s builder, QBuild, allocated $96 million over four years to enhance its capacity to build more homes, more quickly.

This includes $39.4 million to double its trades workforce to 1000 by 2026, including 200 apprentices, to be deployed to initiatives like the QBuild Rapid accommodation and Apprenticeship Centres in Brisbane and Cairns.

And QBuild depots across regional Queensland will be supercharged to streamline and accelerate critical functions through a $23.4 million boost to capacity.

Quote attributable to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk:

“We know the rental market is tight, so the $118.2 million dedicated to building new houses for our essential workers is crucial.

“It will help ensure essential workers in communities are not putting extra pressure on the private rental market.

“Especially for the hardworking men and women who work to protect, help and better the lives of Queenslanders across the state.

“These homes will help attract more critical workers to remote parts of the state, including health professionals like doctors, nurses and paramedics, as well as teachers, police and fire personnel, who would otherwise rent privately.”

Quote attributable to Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick:  

“We’re backing Queensland tradies, and providing a future in the trade industry after the LNP slashed more than 1,600 jobs from state-owned QBuild.

“This means more Queensland tradies out in the community, in regions as far reaching as Thursday Island to Townsville, Bundaberg to Brisbane and everywhere in between.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Public Works, Mick de Brenni:

“QBuild has reduced the current market construction time frames of around 12 months down to about 12 weeks, so we’ll supercharge its capacity with a $39 million injection to boost positions to 1000 by 2026, with further plans to increase the workforce to 1500 by 2029.

“More than $23 million has been allocated to enhance the capacity of QBuild depots across regional Queensland, including new depots at both the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, giving our tradies what they need, to deliver crucial building work this state needs.

“The LNP took a wrecking ball to QBuild, but in contrast we’ll continue to build it into a modern, efficient and capable builder and employer of choice.


Media contact – Elise Williams