MINERS are to be offered $50,000 to encourage them to buy a house in Moranbah.
Hundreds of Anglo American employees will have the chance to cash-in on the extraordinary incentive to breathe life into the Central Queensland town.
And Isaac Mayor Cedric Marshall last night threw down a challenge for rival mining companies to show similar levels of support to the region’s other towns.
“We would love to see more families living in Moranbah and all our mining communities,” he said. “This is very welcome news.
“I encourage the other mining companies to offer their employees incentives to buy and build houses. I wish I had had this kind of offer when I was a young man.
“We need to get back to where we have families living in our communities. It’s the only way to make our towns sustainable in the long term.”
Only last week former Fitzroy MP Jim Pearce spearheaded a political campaign to lobby for a better deal for mining towns like Moranbah.
He said it was time to deal with housing affordability, the increases in fly-in fly-out workforces and the lack of opportunities for young people in mining communities.
Yesterday’s surprise announcement by Murray Wood, the manager of Moranbah North Mine, caught-out the critics and outlined Anglo’s commitment to Moranbah in hard cash terms.
In addition to $50,000 grants for employees who wish to build or buy houses in Moranbah there’s an offer of $25,000 plus removal expenses for “people whose circumstances have changes and are looking to move”.
And single miners who stay in houses or units during their rostered period can get $20,000 if they elect to move out to make room for couples or families.
“Anglo American owns 240 houses and units in Moranbah offering a range of accommodation options to employees,” said Mr Wood.
“In the past two months alone, seven non-management employees and their families have been offered housing in Moranbah.
About 300 people turned up for a meeting in Moranbah last month to raise concerns about the number of fly-in fly-out workers who made no contribution to the community.
Fears have also been expressed in Moura that mining company policies, which encourage miners to live in dongas in organised camps rather than buy or rent homes in the town, are killing the community.
Anglo incentives include:
$50,000 grants for workers who wish to build or buy housing in Moranbah;
$25,000 for people whose circumstances have changed and are looking to move, as
well as covering their removalist expenses; and
A $20,000 incentive is available to single persons who do not reside in Moranbah, but
currently only stay in houses or units during their rostered period, if they elect to move
out and make room for couples or families.