MAYOR Margaret Strelow has her sights firmly set on fly-in fly-out mining operations in the west, but concedes the council has not yet done enough to stay ahead of the game.
With a new mine at Alpha rumoured to be staffed predominately from a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce, questions have been raised over Rockhampton's ability to take advantage of this mining boom.
Cr Strelow said although Rockhampton had fallen behind in promoting FIFO support services she was confident her return to office would see the issue placed back on the agenda.
She said it was regrettable Rockhampton had not better promoted FIFO-based services in the past but was confident there was still time to get involved with Central Queensland mine support.
"We haven't (developed FIFO services) yet but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't ... we absolutely need to (have acted) and we should have done already, I'm sorry," she said.
CEO of Capricorn Enterprise Mary Carroll said the council's move to better promote FIFO was positive but local government needed to take more action to bring Rockhampton up to speed.
She said council, who administers the airport, needed to work with the mines and commercial airline companies to better develop FIFO flight infrastructure.
"Council, who owns the airport, and the mines themselves are the crucial ingredients to seeing this come to fruition. Together we must sit at the table and talk with the airlines," she said.
Ms Carroll said Rockhampton's FIFO service was currently restricted to north-south flights and road travel to and from the western mining regions.
"Rockhampton does service many fly-in fly-out workers (from other big cities) who then hire a vehicle to reach their destination in the west," she said.
Ms Carroll said it was crucial to expand east-west flight routes to better service inland mining regions if Rockhampton was to develop as a FIFO destination.
"There is absolutely provision for growth of east-west flights. (We) are very aware of this need and have held initial discussions with major airlines regarding this opportunity," she said.
With many other Central Queensland towns already surging ahead on the back of FIFO mining operations, Cr Strelow said Rockhampton needed to promote itself as the premier place to live for regional mine workers.
Cr Strelow said providing an attractive environment for mining families was not only about providing the air transport service, but also family support facilities like schools and hospitals.
"We need to support Rockhampton as not just a base but a perfect base," she said.