Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker is concerned about FIFO operations in the Galilee
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker is concerned about FIFO operations in the Galilee Simon Green

Mayor pushes for locals to get Galilee jobs

A QUEENSLAND Government deal with miner Adani could see work on Australia's biggest coal mine finally begin, but the Isaac council mayor wants more assurance the jobs will stay locally.

The government announced on Monday it had agreed to co-build "common" rail line infrastructure in the Galilee Basin with Indian company Adani Mining - which also announced it had received a $1 billion credit line from the Indian government owned State Bank of India.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said, along with the deal to build the rail line, the government could help construct airports to facilitate fly in, fly out workers to isolated mines.

While Isaac Regional Council mayor Anne Baker said she welcomed the development, which could result in jobs for the region, FIFO operations concerned her.

"With recent job cuts, I am sure everyone is aware of the need for genuine employment opportunities for people living in the surrounding established resource communities and regional centres," she said.

"Regional, rural and remote communities can only be sustainable if they have strong economies based on a stable workforce.

"Choice, versus 100% forced FIFO practices, will encourage population renewal and sustainable growth in our established resource communities and regional centres."

Similarly opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she believed the jobs should go to locals first.

"As our policy clear indicated, where mines are built near communities, locals should have preference for jobs," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she had "reservations" about the agreement between the government and Adani.

"While I'm passionate about jobs, I'm very concerned about the secrecy of this deal," she said.

Mr Seeney told ABC Radio on Tuesday Queenslanders would be offered the jobs first.

"We're involved because of the jobs it offers to Queenslanders. 27,000 jobs now and into the future is enough incentive for us as a government to facilitate the investment that will make those jobs available," he said.

- APN NEWSDESK


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