OPINION: Could Rocky be the beef and barra hub?
COULD a fish help Rockhampton be Adani's FIFO mining hub?
The offer to build and run an airport near the Carmichael mine is a bold move by Rockhampton Regional Council to become the major FIFO hub. What about a $33 a kilo fish, could that be the clincher?
Worker satisfaction is a big factor in where they like to work and live, thus a major factor in the selection of the FIFO hub.
The workers might be spending up to two weeks at the mine site, but just as importantly up to seven days back at home. A place to get away from work and do activities they enjoy; fishing possibly being one of them. Not just any fishing but barramundi sports fishing. Yes you can do that in Townsville as well as Rockhampton, but in an easily accessible net free zone. Not that I can see.
Should Rockhampton, as mayoral candidate Bruce Diamond proposed in last year's elections, re-badge as Australia's Beef n' Barra capital? I think it has merit.
Photos like the one in last week's paper of a metre long barramundi caught in the Fitzroy should be included in all future marketing material for the region. Fishing enthusiasts will travel far and wide trying to catch barramundi, especially over a metre long.
Rockhampton is I believe the only place you can spend the night in near five star accommodations and throw the line in from the balcony. Well not quite, but you don't have to be sleeping with crocodiles to be close to the barra biting.
Would the shared status upset the beef industry? Possibly some, but just south of Rockhampton we have Blue Beef, a brahman cattle property also fattening barramundi for sale to southern markets. Diversification has proved to be a good strategy for them.
Rockhampton is developing opportunities with the net free zone.
Bundle the barramundi in with the lifestyle opportunities the region offers, combine the affordable housing, quality education and medical facilities to the out of the box airport proposal and we could have a winning FIFO hub bid along with more locals with jobs and more people moving to the region.
In keeping with the out of the box ideas, include a giant barramundi statue beside (or on) the city's Brahman bull statues to start positioning Rockhampton as Australia's Beef n' Barra capital!