There is a push for insurers to hire local tradespeople instead of interstate contractors, to assist with rebuilding damaged parts of Queensland and NSW. The worst may be over for flood-ravaged Queensland and Northern NSW, but there’s a long road ahead for the recovery effort. Areas that have been hardest hit include Lismore, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads, Mullumbimby, Airlie, Proserpine and Mackay. Residents in Rockhampton are only just starting to assess the damage, after major flood levels receded over the weekend. Last week we shared a request for construction workers to get involved with the recovery effort in areas affected by ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie. This rebuilding work could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. So far, insurers have received more than 35 000 claims from policyholders in Queensland and NSW. If you’re a local qualified builder or tradesperson who wants to join the reconstruction effort, you can register for insurer-funded work with The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). It seems that a combination of local and interstate tradies are heading to impacted regions to assist with rebuilding projects. Queensland Housing Minister Mick de Brenni is urging residents to hire local contractors. “Getting repairs done quickly is important to get communities back on their feet, and supporting local businesses where possible is also part of that,” Mr de Brenni told the Courier-Mail. Insurance companies like Suncorp have stated they will prioritise sourcing local workers, but may need to use out-of-town workers too, if the damage is too widespread. But pressure is being put on insurance companies to rely on local workers, with Master Builders North Queensland engaging in ongoing discussions with the ICA to this end. Other key players are getting involved in the lobbying too. Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad believes that insurers prefer to tap into their own pool of pre-qualified builders, which is one reason local workers may miss out. “I have today started calling insurance companies … to ensure local contractors get a fair share of the rebuild work,” she told the Sunshine Coast Daily. Regardless of whether local or southern contractors are hired to help rebuild parts of Queensland and Northern NSW, there’s no denying they will have their work cut out for them.