Big money for those giving it a go
TOURIST towns in Queensland’s Gulf of Carpentaria region are crying out for more workers, and in response businesses are offering high wages as they move into the peak winter tourism season.
The Federal Member for the area, Bob Katter, has toured the region this week and says it was the number one issue business owners and residents raised with him.
“Everywhere I’ve gone up in the Gulf country, whether it be Croydon, Georgetown, Normanton, Kurumba or wherever, everyone is screaming out for workers,” Mr Katter said.
“They can’t get people up here and they are desperately short for labour. In some instances, they are offering wages 30 percent above the award rate, for what I would consider are pretty easy jobs.”
Australia’s worker shortage problem has been increasing as backpacker numbers have gradually depleted since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Derek Lord, who operates Just Lord’s in Normanton – a car hire, refuelling and shuttle service – is currently chasing two workers.
“We have good fishing, good hunting, and plenty of fresh, clean air. So why wouldn’t you want to come up?” Mr Lord said.
“I know the pubs are also desperate. The backpacker shortage has hit them hard. They need cleaners for rooms and half the rooms in town aren’t even open because they can’t be serviced.”
Mr Katter said people in the major cities who were struggling to find employment should strongly consider heading north.
“So, come and have a great working holiday in one of the best tourist destinations in Australia,” he said.
“Cobold Gorge is spectacular. You can walk over it on a glass bottom bridge, take a chopper tour or kayak in the Gorge itself. There’s brilliant fishing at Karumba and Normanton including the Barramundi Centre. And the Undara Lava Tubes are breathtaking.
“The other benefit of coming up here is you can escape the cold winter months of the southern states. It won’t be too hot, just perfect sunny days.”