RALLY READY: Blackwater North State School student Keahlan O'Brien will head to Brisbane for a rally tomorrow with his family and other Blackwater locals.
RALLY READY: Blackwater North State School student Keahlan O'Brien will head to Brisbane for a rally tomorrow with his family and other Blackwater locals. Meghan Kidd

Blackwater residents rally in Brisbane for town

PASSIONATE locals from Blackwater are heading to parliament house tomorrow to rally for the future of the region. 

A meeting was held in town last night, organised by the community, to discuss what plans going forward could save the town, its local businesses and promote families moving to the region.

Member Sallee Collins said she wanted to emphasis the group as a community movement.

"There is plenty of talk of what we're there for, but essentially it's for our community," Sallee said.

She said when BMA announced it would contract out a number of operations at its Blackwater Mine to Downer EDI, is when things became unstuck. 

"But we're not against Downer workers," she said.

"We want to protect them and their future as well, because we want them to have a permanent job.

"It's going to affect the schools, the town, and far beyond - Dingo, Duaringa, Gracemere - no one can even get a loan here because the region has been blacklisted."

Blackwater North State School student Keahlan O'Brien will be on deck tomorrow with his family at the rally.

Young Keahlan made waves in Blackwater recently when he read out a speech at the CFMEU convened community meeting, attended by 1000 residents, local MPS and business owners. 

He told the crowd he was worried about his future in town, and whether he would have a football team next year, or be able to undertake an apprenticeship. 

"It's a union rally, and what they were going to do was have a rally here, but they thought having one here wouldn't get it noticed, so let's go to Brisbane to get politicians interested, then we can have one here," Sallee said.

Another meeting will be held in coming weeks.

For more information search for the Coalfields Community Group on Facebook.


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