MINING juggernaut Adani will today announce a jobs bonanza for Rockhampton with the long-term fire-power to supercharge the CQ economy for more than 30 years.
Adani executives are expected at Rockhampton Airport this morning to name Rockhampton and Townsville as joint fly-in fly-out worker hubs for the massive Carmichael Mine near Clermont.
This split FIFO decision guarantees 2200 of the project's 3300 construction jobs will go to Rockhampton and Townsville regions (1100 each) meaning these well-paid workers will have to prove they live in either council area.
The deal also secures each region 625 of the $16.5b mine's 1250 operating jobs for the next 30 years.
The combined construction (1100) and ongoing mine positions (625) means 1700 new jobs for the Rockhampton region.
The economic impact on Rockhampton will be almost immediate with construction of the airport, just east of the mine, to begin later this month and work on the mine before Christmas.
The 50-50 FIFO decision ends months of anxiety after both cities had put in competitive bids with Rockhampton pitching a $20m offer to build an airport at the mine and to provide airport management support.
However, the final arrangement will now see Townsville and Rockhampton putting $15.5m each towards the revised $31m cost of the mine's airport.
A clearly delighted Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow, speaking to The Morning Bulletin at City Hall yesterday ahead of the official announcement, said the 50-50 split between the cities was a huge win for the council and the Rockhampton region.
"On behalf of Council and the community, I would like to thank Adani Australia for their decision to select Rockhampton as both a FIFO hub and recruitment centre for construction jobs as part of the Carmichael Mine project," Mayor Strelow said.
"This has been a long, hard-fought process (13 months) and we wouldn't be here today without the community's support as well as that of other levels of Government who granted the approvals for this project.
"We are particularly thankful to the Wangan and Jagalingou people whose very strong support for our bid was a critical factor in our success.
"This is really a generational moment for us we see ourselves as the gateway to the Galilee Basin. We see this as an entrepreneurial opportunity for service into the Galilee, not for just this mine, but for others.
"This deal will deliver 1,100 construction jobs, as well as at least 625 ongoing operational jobs, and I want to be absolutely clear that our deal with Adani has these jobs being sourced from the Rockhampton Local Government area."
An Adani spokesman yesterday praised both Rockhampton and Townsville councils for their competitive bids to be the FIFO hub but said the decision to make it 50-50 came down to the "bottom line".
"We needed thousand of people working on the mine and construction. Rockhampton, led by its mayor, Margaret Strelow, had a very good proposition with the airport and Townsville had a good proposition in relation to a couple of other factors, so we put them together, put the two teams together and came up with a result for everyone.
"The Rockhampton community will be the big winners with job security and workers not having to relocate. This also means more people will come to Rocky and Townsville for jobs and that puts more people into the rates base and the rental market."
ADANI INFORMATION | Rockhampton Regional Council's 'Work Adani, Live Rockhampton' portal
Cr Strelow said Rockhampton had seen its chance with the FIFO hub opportunity and had seized the day.
"What is really palpable among the elected councillors is the recognition that this is a generational opportunity for us," she said.
"If you look at our history, it was around the 1980s that Rockhampton fell behind.
"It was tourism to Cairns, military to Townsville and mining into Mackay. But this is our moment."
She said the process leading towards today's success had started over 12 months ago with a meeting with Adani in Rockhampton.
She said the council's ownership of the airport had made this deal possible and this would pave the way for even more opportunity.
"Because Rockhampton owns the airport, as we get extra planes in, the general increases in landings and activities at the airport comes home to us. We have offered some concessions for the first couple of years but they don't last for long and then there is certainly then a strong return to the rate payers from the extra airport business."
"We are doing some reconfiguration at the airport to allow it to be a mainstream FIFO airport, not just for Carmichael but for others. The thing to remember for the airport it has the potential to service other mines".
The Queensland Government late yesterday welcomed Adani's decision to select Rockhampton and Townsville as its FIFO hubs. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had urged Adani to select both and ensure the economic benefit and jobs from the project were maximised in regional Queensland. In December last year, the Premier secured a commitment from Adani to not use foreign workers on 457 visas.
Adani is expected to reveal more detail on the Carmichael Mine jobs and and the FIFO hubs today.
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