Clive Palmer's big plans for tiny CQ town
THE small township of Marlborough lies 25kms south east of the Central Queensland Coal Project.
The town has a convenience/hardware store, a post office, service station, garage and a pub. Almost half of its 149 people work in the beef cattle industry.
It's a sleepy little place on the road between Rockhampton and Mackay, but that would change dramatically if the Central Queensland Coal Project goes ahead.
With 500 workers, mostly drive in, drive out, employed during the construction phase and 200-500 once operational, the local economy would grow like never before.
Deb Riley owns the Marlborough Convenience and Hardware Store.
Her family bought the business 20 years ago when they moved to the area and she said, with a few exceptions, the majority of the people there supported the coal mine.
She said last night's meeting ended with a relaxed atmosphere and people seemed happy with responses given to their questions.
"There was no aggression,” Deb said.
"Three or four people brought up questions mostly about the extra trains, they're not happy with extra trains being run.
"Mainly about the noise, coal dust and black lung disease.
"Some people are worried about contamination of the ground water but (the presenters) were pretty good actually.
"They asked questions themselves about what people's worries were and talked about how they would try to alleviate them.”
For now, Deb just hopes that business will improve as construction starts and the influx of workers brings more customers.
"That's what I'm hoping for ... it might even bring someone in who wants to buy the shop and I can retire.”