Feb 13, 2017

Carmichael county mayor calls for calm

Councils competing for investment spun out of Adani’s coal development in central Queensland have been asked to take a breath.

It comes as Townsville and Rockhampton each vie for a greater stake of the touted FIFo market generated out of the development of Adani’s mine, rail and port project.

The Carmichael lease is located in Isaac Regional Council boundaries west of Mackay where Mayor Anne Baker also wants workers to be located.

Cr Baker is calling for common sense and for focus on the key issue.

“Someone has to own the airport. Who owns it in no way impacts or changes Council’s campaign to see jobs at the Carmichael project for people locally, regionally and across Queensland,” Mayor Anne Baker said.

“FIFO was always going to be a part of the equation for this project.

“It’s about ensuring local workers are not locked out of local projects and people have genuine choice on where they live and work.”

Mayor Anne Baker said Isaac Regional Council will continue to strongly advocate for the Strong and Sustainable Resources Community Bill 2016.

“This airport pitch does highlight that 100% FIFO divides communities as well as families.

“Our goal is to influence this Bill so all communities can be strong and have equal opportunity.

“There is a place for FIFO and camps in the mining industry – and there always will be.

“Every family deserves the right to make a life and earn a living – whether they live in Isaac, Mackay, Rockhampton, Whitsunday or Townsville for that matter.”

“There must be an end to 100% FIFO work practices and an end to discrimination. There must be genuine choice. There must be rules and regulations that prevent a company having the ability to discriminate against workers for where they live.

“If a worker decides they want to relocate to a nearby mining town, regional centre or FIFO from a major city, they should be able to.

“This Bill is about ensuring that regional communities in Queensland in the vicinity of large resource projects benefit from the operation of those projects.”

Mayor Anne Baker said while Council commends the Queensland Government for its commitment to regulating mining projects, the Bill in its current form can be improved.

“Council presented the practical and meaningful ways the Bill should be strengthened to get the job done in Moranbah yesterday,” she said.

“Some of the concerns raised included the prevention of 100% FIFO only relating to future projects, anti-discrimination applying only to post 2009 projects, nearby communities only defined as 100km away and some projects requiring local residents to live in camps on site during their shift.”

“I encourage anyone attending a regional hearing to read Council’s submission on our website. It highlights 14 key concerns and 16 changes for consideration.

“Council will continue to engage with the Queensland Government to ensure that the Bill is fit for the job.”

Regional public hearings are being held from February 8 to 10, with Mackay and Rockhampton being held today.

For more details on Council’s submission for the Stronger and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill 2016 visit www.isaac.qld.gov.au/advocacy or call Council’s 24/7 Customer Service Centre on 1300 ISAACS (1300 472 227).