MAYOR Brad Carter responds to a Letter to the Editor regarding the fly-in fly-out market and his stance on this issue.
MAYOR Brad Carter responds to a Letter to the Editor regarding the fly-in fly-out market and his stance on this issue.

Carter opposes 100% FIFO workforce

I READ with interest the Letter to the Editor from Gary Lynch (TMB, August 2) regarding the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) market and the apparent confusion about my stance on this issue.

To make my position clear, what I am opposed to is a 100% FIFO workforce in our mines and in this case the Caval Ridge Mine – 100% of a mine workforce flying in from somewhere like the Gold Coast is unacceptable. I acknowledge there is a need for FIFO, but there needs to be balance and a choice for mine industry employees.

We are committed to having the Rockhampton region develop as a base for families, and support business for mining. There are already a number of mining families that call Central Queensland home; in fact the council's planning scheme caters for this very growth.

The Rockhampton Regional Council substantially funds Capricorn Enterprise ($700,000 pa) to promote the Rockhampton region as a place to invest, live, work and play. To suggest that the council isn't making an effort to attract mining business and mining families to the region is incorrect and misleading.

The council is also committed to finalising its Strategic Plan, which will be the blueprint to cater for growth, development and an increase in mining families residing in the region.

The council, in partnership with Capricorn Enterprise, recently developed an investment brief for the very purpose of attracting investment and growth, and subsequently launched the document in Rockhampton and Brisbane to get greater exposure. This investment brief has application for promoting this region as a great place to live for mining families.

I also met twice with Simon Crean (Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government) to discuss our plans for growth and support to the resource sector, including current and future infrastructure needs and development. I also identified during these discussions the significant shortfall or absence of Federal Budget support for infrastructure development for this region.

On Friday, July 22, our council went to Gladstone and met with the Gladstone Regional Council and signed off on a joint project to consider the viability of fast light rail, marine transport and buses to transport workers between the Rockhampton region and Gladstone to cater for the demand for workers for the development of the three LNG projects on Curtis Island, and the further expansion of coal loading facilities. This project will take pressure off Gladstone and provide Rockhampton region as a residential location.

As both a member of the Capricorn Enterprise Board and as Mayor of the Rockhampton Regional Council I will continue to work towards achieving and implementing our key strategies and regional priorities to ensure the region's economic future continues to prosper. This includes a commitment to making sure the Rockhampton region is actively promoted as a base for mining and resource industry families.

Brad Carter, Mayor, Rockhampton Regional Council



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