Jobs for sale
Details emerge of the lengths Rockhampton and Townsville went to become FIFO hubs
Wednesday 11 October 2017
A week on from Adani’s announcement that it would make both Townsville and Rockhampton FIFO hubs for their proposed Carmichael coal mine, details are emerging of the millions the councils have jointly committed to secure that title.
The Councils have jointly committed to invest $30 million into the development of a FIFO airport at the Carmichael mine, and in return, Adani has committed to source as many FIFO workers as possible from within their Shire boundaries.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill defended the decision.
“There’s no doubt that this will bring $90 million minimum into our community as well as the 1200 jobs during the construction and the 900 jobs afterwards,” she said.
“This is about attracting jobs to the region and the reality is we do get a return from the investment that will more than cover the funds we put in.”
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said the opportunity was too big to miss.
“It’s a defining moment for Rockhampton that will change the face of our region for generations to come,” she said.
“The influx of more than 1700 new jobs will be a massive driver for our local economy.
“Modelling showed $15 billion in wages would flow into Rockhampton and the wider benefits and industry attraction will multiply that out.”
However, both Councils have infuriated community leaders in Mackay, Yeppoon, Gladstone, and Moranbah whose ratepayers are now seemingly ineligible for the work, unless they move to Rockhampton or Townsville.
Livingstone Shire Mayor Bill Ludwig told News Corporation he felt deceived.
"It is unconscionable and un-Australian for Mayor Strelow to have knowingly deceived our communities by seeking our support without telling us, and now boasting, that at the same time she was secretly negotiating with Adani to exclude our communities being able to apply for jobs," Cr Ludwig said.
"We believe the Rockhampton Mayor has breached not only our communities trust and her code of conduct duty to act honestly and with integrity, but will also be in breach of 'post code' discrimination legislation.
"We can only hope that both the State and Federal Governments step in and say this type of discriminatory and divisive behaviour is totally unacceptable."
There are forecast to be more than 3300 jobs generated during the construction and operational phases of the proposed Carmichael coal mine of which 2100 are contracted to come from Townsville, while Rockhampton expects to supply 1700 workers.
Workers employed on the project will be audited about where they come from and will have to prove they live in the Rockhampton and Townsville Shires.
The prospect of joint FIFO hubs first emerged in August when preferred - but not confirmed - principal contractor Downer Edi advertised for FIFO workers from either Townsville or Rockhampton.