YOUR SAY: You respond to council's Adani worker incentives
The Morning Bulletin's comment section lit up yesterday morning following the front-page report about Rockhampton Regional Council's 'mystery incentives' to lure miners to Rockhampton for an Adani job.
Mayor Margaret Strelow was also active in the comments where she had to quell some of the concerns raised by the the public.
Much of the criticism was concern about having people moving to town for the jobs and not employing locals first.
Mayor Strelow said the move came mainly from a lack of skilled workers in Rockhampton.
"Locals will get first dibs. Government provides re-training too. But we know some of our resources sector people are already having trouble filling skilled jobs,” she commented.
"If people go to Townsville first and settle the kids in schools, we will never get them here.
"Remember that for every new job created on a mine site, there are two or three jobs that follow on elsewhere.”
However, some were not convinced by the mayor's message.
"The councils, mines, or governments put bugger all into training or apprentices, it wont be long before Adani will be looking overseas for workers,” Peter Freeman wrote.
- A council report summarising the RRC incentives program the said the move would mean an "implementation and provision of incentive packages for prospective workers in the resource sector relocating to the Rockhampton Local Government Area”.
- $200,000 total planned spend from Advanced Rockhampton's operational budget.
Matthew James posed a question.
"Why not train those up who live here with that $200,000 though? I'm sure the government knows what the unemployment rate for Rocky is,” he said.
Cr Strelow responded.
"Yep, the State Government are looking at this,” she said.
Danielle Gillespie wanted to see locals upskilled for the positions before resorting to luring people from elsewhere.
"We have so many people here looking for work, how about we use our locals first and use the money to give them the skills to get the jobs,” he said.
The mayor responded and said plans were already afoot for just that.
"We have been doing that too - The Gear Up Rocky programme,” she said.
"Most skills development stuff is funded by the State though.”
She expanded while replying to another comment in the same vein.
"Locals are being trained too. We are working with the State Government and have a full-time person looking at what extra training could be provided to locals to fill jobs in mining, construction and health,” Cr Strelow said.
"This initiative is just part of a big plan that is also about growing our role in the mining sector to make sure we are the centre for the Galilee Basin.
"There are some existing mine equipment maintenance businesses who are already struggling to get qualified employees.”
Some simply though the money would be better spent elsewhere, and others took the chance to put their hands up for an Adani job.
"There are far more important things to spend the money on in this town,” Haylen Titmarsh said.
"I'm local and I'd love an Adani job, thanks,” Mercury Mowen said.