Locals pick up 35% of Pacific Highway upgrade jobs
LOCAL workers are picking up about 35% of the jobs on the Pacific Hwy upgrade, according to State Government figures.
Minister for Roads Duncan Gay has released research results which found 30% of workers on the highway would consider permanently relocating to where they currently work.
The research - a profile of the construction workforce between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour and an accommodation study between Coffs Harbour and Ballina - was undertaken to assist planning for the 155km Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade.
Mr Gay said the latest survey results were a major win for the North Coast economy, with significant long-term benefits flowing to regional communities and their local businesses.
"Today, 3500 people are working directly on the Pacific Hwy upgrade - of these 35% are local residents," Mr Gay said.
"It is also clear other workers are enjoying the North Coast lifestyle, with 30% wanting to be locals as they are considering permanently relocating to their current work location.
"This makes sense when you consider more than half of survey respondents have been working on various sections of the Pacific Highway upgrade for as many as seven or eight years. It means the upgrade is providing a continued source of employment for these workers who are moving from one job along the upgrade to the next."