Home Featured New QBuild Cairns facility, apprentices to build more Homes for Queenslanders

New QBuild Cairns facility, apprentices to build more Homes for Queenslanders

New QBuild Cairns facility, apprentices to build more Homes for Queenslanders
  • New Cairns Rapid Accommodation and Apprenticeship Centre (RAAC) to build modular homes for the state’s north
  • Cairns RAAC will be a home to QBuild trades and apprentices
  • Set to open in March (2024)
  • Key pillar of Miles Government’s Homes for Queenslanders to build more homes, faster and boost social housing Big Build

Dozens of apprentices will make Cairns’ new rapid accommodation and apprenticeship centre their home as they get ready to build more Homes for Queenslanders.

The facility will be used rain, hail or shine to build modular homes as social and government housing.

Modelled on a similar facility at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, the RAAC will see crews get stuck into not only pulling together complete homes, but also bathroom modules, flatpack kitchens and timber frames.

Factory-built modules are built at the same time as site works are carried out. The finished home is then trucked to the site for installation.

The Eagle Farm facility, opened in late 2022, has so far contributed to the delivery of more than 100 modular homes, helping deliver homes for Queenslanders in need. A second, smaller RAAC operates at Zillmere.

Located in Portsmith, Cairns, this latest factory is expected to be set up by mid-March 2024 with manufacturing under way by the end of that month.

QBuild is undergoing rapid growth due to the government’s commitment to Rebuild QBuild.

Phase 2 that will see up to 500 qualified trades staff and apprentices join the QBuild workforce. Under Phase 1, an extra 300 staff were employed.

Quotes attribute to Premier Steven Miles:

“Our Homes for Queenslanders plan sets the target of 53,500 social homes by 2046, backed by over $1.2 billion of additional funding.

“In order to achieve that ambition we need to look at innovative ways to build homes like modular housing, and build our construction capacity with more apprentices.

“This new facility will do just that.

“More than 100 modular homes have already been built statewide by QBuild and industry partners, in communities like Winton, Roma, Dalby and Longreach.

“We won’t waste any time getting to work because vulnerable Queenslanders deserve a safe place to call home.”

Quotes attributable to Deputy Premier Cameron Dick:

“Ensuring Queenslanders have access to appropriate housing is all about increasing supply, and that’s what this centre at Portsmith will do.

“It ticks all the boxes – building new homes, increasing our skilled workforce, and making our state more resilient in the face of natural disasters.

“QBuild’s first 100 modular homes are just the beginning, but this is all at stake because the LNP and David Crisafulli have not promised one cent to housing and when they last had the chance they sacked 1,600 QBuild workers.”

Quotes attributable Housing and Public Works Minister Meaghan Scanlon:

“The Far North is no stranger to heavy rainfall and natural disasters – we saw that just recently – but it often means building sites can be shut down for long periods of time.

“Having a factory right here in Cairns and a battalion of builders means we continue to build homes whatever the weather and roll them out as soon as possible.

“These homes also take a fraction of the time it would take to build a home from the ground up, especially in regional communities where construction can be challenging.

“We’re rebuilding QBuild after the LNP cut 1,600 staff from its ranks – the people who are responsible for building, maintaining and repairing homes.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Cairns Michael Healy:

“This Cairns facility is a big step towards easing the housing crisis but also will provide much needed jobs in the region for tradespeople and young people.

“Having apprentices in training, learning the latest modern building methods will have an effect right through the far north as many will eventually make their way into private industry.

“And given the natural disasters this state has been experiencing, having a strong QBuild that’s able to put tradespeople on the ground anywhere in the state at short notice is a wonderful asset.”

Quote attributable to first-year QBuild apprentice carpenter, Hunter O’Donnell (17):

“My first few weeks with QBuild has been very busy and I’ve learned so much already – I know I will really enjoy working here at the RAAC.

“In the past few weeks, we’ve been putting everything in place so we can start manufacturing homes as quickly as possible.

“I think it’s really important work to be helping people into homes here in the Far North, and this really hit home after the recent floods.

“At the same time as the factory set-up, we’ve also begun preparing one half of a two-apartment duplex that has been built off-site and brought here for fit-out and finish.

“This 2x1br duplex will then be transported to Cooktown to accommodate critical frontline workers, taking pressure off that local rental market.”

Further Information:

Anyone who needs housing assistance can contact the Cairns Housing Service Centre on  4036 5460 during business hours or call the 24/7 Homeless Hotline on 1800 474 753


Image above by Paull Brennan from Pixabay



The Honourable Steven Miles

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment

The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Public Works

The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


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