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Indigo and Kate Wallace (L-R) Mackenna, Nash and Jace Brunner Rivah and AJ Conway-James Aboutusgenericimage_3 fifo Peewee Gonzales Steve Beale and Chris Dunphy, MIPEC Jemma and Mila Smith Santa and Constable Vanessa csg Zoe with Santa David Gibson and Santa Aboutusgeneric_1 Jo-Anne Burke, DB Scaffolding; Susan McGuire, Mayogroup Greg Byrne, Downing; Ian Reed, QNP
Indigo and Kate Wallace (L-R) Mackenna, Nash and Jace Brunner Rivah and AJ Conway-James Aboutusgenericimage_3 fifo Peewee Gonzales Steve Beale and Chris Dunphy, MIPEC Jemma and Mila Smith Santa and Constable Vanessa csg Zoe with Santa David Gibson and Santa Aboutusgeneric_1

The upside of the downturn
DOWNTURN makes living and buying local attractive.
Tuesday 29 September 2015  

THE complete resetting of the cost of living and working in a mining community is delivering some unforeseen benefits to some of the region's towns.

While the upsides are still dwarfed by the implications of major job losses across Central Queensland, for those that remain there are some good things happening in places like Dysart and Blackwater.

One local business owner told Shift Miner that some of Blackwater’s residents were drifting back.

“Yes, the town is very quiet, but the strangest thing happened today, “ he told Shift Miner.

“I have had two new couples come into the shop this morning, who have just moved back.

“One couple had a young family and had decided to move back out here from Rockhampton, because it was so much cheaper to live.

“They settled in Rockhampton at the height of the boom, but they said it never felt like home.

“The other couple were retired and had sold up a few years back but had decided to move back, because the cost of living was so much cheaper now,”

An hour or so down the road at Dysart, spokesperson for the local Community and Business Group, John Crooks, says local-buy initiatives by the mining companies have made a big difference.

“Yes, we just opened up another store in Tieri, and so far Glencore have been really supportive,” he said.

“I really think the amount of work going to locals has picked up; that’s not to say you don’t have to be competitive with your pricing though.

“We recently had a local-buy meeting with BMA, and it was a great opportunity to have a one-on-one discussion with some of their people.

“I think there was about AU$40 million worth of investment through the local buy program, and while not everything has worked as well as it should, we do seem to be getting more business locally.

“But overall in Dysart, it’s not a boom, and there is no great activity - but the feeling in the town is alright.”


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