AFTER mining giant Adani last week announced Rockhampton and Townsville - but not Emerald - as joint fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker hubs for their operations, local reactions have ranged from dismay to a boosted confidence for the region's future.
Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar said he was "disappointed” by the snub and the only announcement Adani had made was that Rockhampton and Townsville would be FIFO hubs for the Carmichael Mine in the Galilee Basin.
The massive mine near Clermont announced split FIFO decision which guarantees 2200 of the project's 3300 construction jobs would go to Rockhampton and Townsville regions (1100 each).
Hundreds of people from those areas have already registered to become part of the mine's workforce.
Mr Millar said FIFO "does nothing for our local economies”.
"People in towns including Emerald, Capella and Clermont who are still recovering from the downturn in the mining industry, and other nearby towns including Alpha, Jericho and Barcaldine who have experienced five years of unprecedented drought conditions, should be afforded the long-term employment opportunities the mine will bring to the region.”
However, the Central Highlands Regional Council mayor and Central Highlands Development Corporation head believe the mega-mine's plans will provide employment and economic development benefits for Emerald, which has been named as a project service centre for the mine along with Moranbah, Charters Towers, Clermont, and Collinsville.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said he had "no doubt” that Emerald and other towns would also benefit from their "preferred status” as regions that could support the mine with workers and services.
Cr Hayes said the economic boost had already started as the expansion into the Galilee Basin became a reality.
"The fact that the Gallilee Basin opens up gives anyone working in the resource sector the capacity for a future in that industry, and that provides longevity, opportunity and confidence.”
He expected some people would also choose to live in Emerald and "bus-in, bus-out” for work with Adani.
Sandra Hobbs, CHDC General Manager, agreed that Emerald was already experiencing a jobs boost and said the CHDC was working with businesses to ensure they were "supply-chain ready” so they could register for employment with Adani.
Adani CEO, Jeyakumar Janakaraj, said last week that the $22 billion project's two hubs would help build the Galilee Basin as a whole resources region.
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