Lollipop workers on building sites could soon take home a whopping $180,000 pay packet under controversial proposals in Queensland.
Labor lawmakers are considering minimum conditions which could see the workers enjoy a bumper pay day.
In what was described as ‘the most expensive and restrictive work practices in Australia’, companies could see building costs rise by 30 per cent, according to experts.
It would see lollipop workers earn nearly three times more than nurses, who take home an average of $65,000.
The proposals could provide a bumper pay day for lollipop workers, who would earn around $180,000, double time for working on weekends and a 5 per cent annual pay rise
The government, lead by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, is looking to apply the generous benefit for those working in major state-funded projects.
It would be similar to the industry agreement used by the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union.
The policy would make it the responsibility of building companies to ensure subcontractors paid the correct rates.
It would see lollipop workers paid three times the $65,000 earned by Australian nurses
Among a host of policies, it demands 5 per cent annual pay increases as well as generous superannuation contributions of 12 per cent.
Weekend workers would also be paid at overtime rates, earning double pay, according to the Australian Financial Review.
Carpenters could take home $198,000-a-year with a 46-hour working week, with lollipop workers earning around $178,000.
Paul Bidwell, deputy CEO of Master Builders Queensland, called the proposals ‘bizarre’ and suggested the money could be better spent on building more hospitals or school rooms.
‘No one wants it’, he told Daily Mail Australia of the 120-page proposal.
‘I don’t know who dreamed this up.
‘People are happy to be paid $40-45 an hour in Cairns, but now they’ll get $97 an hour. I’m assuming that it’s the government’s intention to inject more money into the Cairns’ economy, so they’re spending.
‘But you don’t have to spend at that rate, they’re choosing to do that, our view would be – why not do it at the market rates and build more of them? More hospitals, more schoolrooms. Rather than paying more for each project individually.’
The proposal is expected to be piloted for the first time for the building of the Cairns Convention Centre.
Grant Galvin, chief executive of the Master Builders Association, called the policy ‘Orwellian’.
‘They’re not minimum conditions – they’re maximum conditions,’ he told AFR.
‘The fact that the state government would even trial a policy which ensures that the most expensive and restrictive work practices in Australia are applied to all major government jobs across the state, is beyond comprehension.’
The MBA predicted the policy could see project costs rise by more than 30 per cent, which Mr Galvin commented was ’30 per cent less to spend on teachers, nurses or other public infrastructure’.
‘We have strongly requested that they review this policy approach in the knowledge that these conditions don’t improve quality, safety or productivity.’ he went on.
‘They just increase costs, particularly for regional areas and undermine the government’s “buy local” policy.’
In 2017, Sydney lollipop lady Amy Dowsett revealed she earned a whopping $130,000 a year, despite needing just two days’ training for the job
The unusual career path’s lucrative benefits have seen scores of young women flock to take up the roles.
One woman Daily Mail Australia spoke to had quit her job as a teacher to become a traffic controller.
‘I was looking for a change of lifestyle. I was working as a teacher but this pays a lot more,’ she said.
One ‘lollipop lady’, Amy Dowsett, has raked in $130,000 a year since joining the trade.
Members of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union member can earn more than $40 an hour for being a lollipop worker, as well as a $22 daily meal allowance
The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union member earns over $40 an hour and also receives a $45 per day travel allowance and a $22 meal allowance.
Depending on the size of the project, she is also paid a site allowance of between $2.10 and $3.95 per hour.
Crane operators get $122 an hour on the Melbourne projects, while borehead operators are paid $118 and riggers and pipe layers $107.
Infrastructure booms across the country created unprecedented demand for construction workers – and high salaries to attract them