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Behind the scenes deal to save Rocky's 1000-job Adani bid

Rockhampton flood.Photo RACQ CAPRICORN HELICOPTER RESCUE SERVICE.
Rockhampton flood.Photo RACQ CAPRICORN HELICOPTER RESCUE SERVICE. Contributed ROK050417aheli3

FLOODING at Rockhampton Airport is likely to have little or no impact on the success of the city's bid to become the fly in/fly out hub for Adani's Carmichael Mine.

Mayor, Margaret Strelow said Rockhampton's bid had always incorporated a backup plan with Gladstone Airport, which was capable of handling all the aircraft being used by the mining company.

Cr Strelow and Gladstone mayor, Matt Burnett formed an agreement "a long time ago".

"Matt (Burnett) is very supportive and that is part of what we see as a very workable plan," Cr Strelow said yesterday.

"In India, we stood shoulder to shoulder, as a double act presenting our airports able to work together by using shuttle buses.

"We're in a stronger position than the other proponents with a backup airport just an hour away.

"Many people in a major city travel that far just to get to an airport so we incorporated the 'Gladstone solution' into the master plan.

"We couldn't have done that without the overpass, which strengthens our case."

Gladstone Airport offers the perfect backup to Rockhampton's FIFO bid to the Adani Carmichael Mine
Gladstone Airport offers the perfect backup to Rockhampton's FIFO bid to the Adani Carmichael Mine Mara Pattison-Sowden

She said the past few days had provided an opportunity to put into practice ways of doing just that.

Shuttle buses left from Stockland in north Rockhampton as the area was large enough to cope with passenger numbers.

The bus timetable aligned with airline schedules out of Gladstone

Though Rockhampton is not prone to the cyclones other proponent cities are, Cr Strelow said the higher chance of floods was mitigated by having a backup airport and a plan.

Since 1991, Rockhampton Airport has been closed a total of 24 days, with 20 of those in 2011.

Cr Strelow said a lot of preparation work had been done, which would work to reduce the number of days the airport closed due to flooding.

"A temporary levee bank has been put in and and runway lights were removed to help get the airport operational again much quicker," she said.

"Emergency services are able to operate out of the airport and the times we can't operate will be much shorter."

Do you think the flood will affect Rocky's bid to become the Adani FIFO hub?

This poll ended on 06 April 2017.

Current Results

Yes. We can't guarantee an airport.

42%

No. Gladstone Airport is a suitable back-up.

50%

I don't know.

7%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The current written down value of Rockhampton Airport is $140 million but Cr Strelow said it would be much more than that to rebuild from scratch.

If the FIFO bid to Adani is successful 1000 workers will transit through Rockhampton Airport every week.

The company has committed to sourcing its workforce wholly from regional Queensland and to not hire any foreign workers on 457 visas.

The operation is expected to generate thousands of mining and construction jobs in the region and pour millions of dollars into local businesses.

"We're in constant communication with Adani," Cr Strelow said.

"We all just keep hoping and waiting, but there's still a few hoops for them to jump through.

"We're very concious and grateful for the support for our bid from both state and federal members and we do believe we make a compelling case.

"It's bold, but it's a moment for boldness."

Topics:  adani jobs rockhampton


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