Mayor Anne Baker
Mayor Anne Baker

Adani: Isaac mayor says airport isn't the issue

AS councils fight over Adani's FIFO hub, the Isaac Regional mayor Anne Baker is calling for common sense, and for a focus on the key issue.

"Someone has to own the airport. Who owns it in no way impacts or changes council's campaign to see jobs at the Carmichael project for people locally, regionally and across Queensland,” Cr Baker said.

"FIFO was always going to be a part of the equation for this project.

"It's about ensuring local workers are not locked out of local projects and people have genuine choice on where they live and work.”

Cr Baker said Isaac Regional Council will continue to strongly advocate for the Strong and Sustainable Resources Community Bill 2016.

"This airport pitch does highlight that 100% FIFO divides communities as well as families,” she said.

"Our goal is to influence this Bill so all communities can be strong and have equal opportunity.

"There is a place for FIFO and camps in the mining industry - and there always will be.

"Every family deserves the right to make a life and earn a living - whether they live in Isaac, Mackay, Rockhampton, Whitsunday or Townsville for that matter.”

Cr Baker said there must be an end to 100% FIFO work practices and an end to discrimination.

"There must be genuine choice. There must be rules and regulations that prevent a company having the ability to discriminate against workers for where they live,” she said.

"If a worker decides they want to relocate to a nearby mining town, regional centre or FIFO from a major city, they should be able to.

"This Bill is about ensuring that regional communities in Queensland in the vicinity of large resource projects benefit from the operation of those projects.”

Cr Baker said while council commends the Queensland Government for its commitment to regulating mining projects, the Bill in its current form can be improved.

"Council presented the practical and meaningful ways the Bill should be strengthened to get the job done in Moranbah yesterday,” she said.

"Some of the concerns raised included the prevention of 100% FIFO only relating to future projects, anti-discrimination applying only to post 2009 projects, nearby communities only defined as 100km away and some projects requiring local residents to live in camps on site during their shift.”

"I encourage anyone attending a regional hearing to read Council's submission on our website. It highlights 14 key concerns and 16 changes for consideration.

"Council will continue to engage with the Queensland Government to ensure that the Bill is fit for the job.”

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