Creative approach needed: Pearce
CENTRAL Queensland community advocate and Mirani candidate Jim Pearce challenged the State Government and coal and gas companies to be more creative when addressing community issues brought on by the rapid expansion of mining.
"Only a fool would argue that thousands of commuting workers are not having a demoralising impact on the quality of life for permanent residents," Mr Pearce said.
"We have to be creative in our thinking if we are to lift the coal towns out of the doldrums."
He proposed the State Government impose a $20 per head, per week levy on all companies using commuting workers for project construction and mining activities.
"I am not suggesting that individual workers be made to pay the levy," he said.
"It is not unreasonable to expect the government to put dollars back into the regions - and under this proposal communities will have ownership in the delivery of services and the brick and mortar that goes into new infrastructure."
He said the levy would result in a large pool of funds for distribution throughout the Bowen Basin and could bring in as much as $20 million annually.