Social researcher Deborah Rae, left, of the Regional Social Development Centre, architect Graham Legerton, of Thomson Adsett, and Isaac Regional Council chief executive Mark Crawley in Rockhampton yesterday.
Social researcher Deborah Rae, left, of the Regional Social Development Centre, architect Graham Legerton, of Thomson Adsett, and Isaac Regional Council chief executive Mark Crawley in Rockhampton yesterday. Alister Thomson

Miners to be 'sprinkled' into town

A Central Queensland council says its residents want miners integrated by sprinkling them throughout its towns in a “salt and pepper” style rather than living in camps outside of town.

Chief executive Mark Crawley was in Rockhampton yesterday to make public the findings of the Adaptive Communities report.

The council has been looking for a solution to the discord created through fly-in fly-out workers in the region and the challenges brought by a possible 14 further mines in the region.

Over 1000 Moranbah residents were consulted on six community concepts, including studios and units scattered on a “salt and pepper basis” throughout the town, which the council said aimed to integrate non-resident workers into the community.

Nearly 400 people voted on the different concepts and 67 per cent voted for some sort of integration with the town from “full integration” into the town to a new suburb integrated into the urban fringe.

However 33 per cent of respondents voted for a new town outside of Moranbah, the highest percentage for a single concept.

Mr Crawley called the response from the public “huge” and said while there were 26 coal mines in Isaac, another 13 or 14 were on the drawing board in the near future.

He said the council did not want to end up with 14 small towns to support the mines but rather larger and more sustainable communities.

But the report provoked a scathing response from Kelly Vea Vea, chairperson of the Moranbah Action Group.

Ms Vea Vea wrote in an email to supporters that the models presented as options by the council gave no data so people could measure the impact of each model on the community.

“The Moranbah Action Group feels that this was a dodgy poll based on a series of unclear proposals, none of which had anything to do with more permanent housing for Moranbah.

“Basically, it seemed like council is saying, ‘Here are your dirt sandwiches, would you like like that dirt sandwich with sauce?’”

Mr Crawley said the next step was to arrange a meeting with Deputy Premier Paul Lucas to push for changes to Environmental Impact Reports through which the state government measures the impact of new mines.

The report’s findings will be presented in a public session at the Coalface Art Gallery this morning at 11.30am.

For the full report visit www.adaptivecommunities.com.au



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