Adani’s announcement of Townsville as the regional headquarters for the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project marks a new era for the region’s economy, with the promise of hundreds of jobs for locals before construction even commences, according to north Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald.
Strategically placing project service centres across the region – including in Emerald, Clermont, Moranbah, Collinsville and Charters Towers – and centralising rail and port operations in Mackay and Bowen would ensure maximum benefit for areas hit hard by the economic downturn, he said.
Senator Macdonald described the project news as the best Christmas gift the region could ever ask for.
“Coming on top of the Commonwealth Government’s ramping up of the Singapore Defence deal, and the Commonwealth-funded stadium and Eastern Rail Access Corridor, and Sun Metal’s expansion plans, the Adani deal heralds a new future for the region,” Senator Macdonald said.
“The flow-on effects of Adani’s decision to base their operations here in Townsville, including their project management office, remote operating centre for the mine and port services, is going to benefit just about every industry in the city.”
Senator Macdonald said this type of activity was what the Northern Australia Whitepaper was all about and justified the Federal Coalition’s long-term support for Adani and coal exports, and the development of Abbot Point.
Regional roles in coal project
The Carmichael coal project involves development of a major mining operation about 160km north-west of Clermont and the construction of a rail line to the Adani-owned and operated bulk coal-loading facility at Abbot Point near Bowen.
Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said Mackay would provide Adani with port services during the construction and operational stages of the Carmichael project, while Bowen would become the HQ for Adani’s rail and port operations.The rail maintenance and provisioning yard would also be located in the region.
Adani says central Queensland’s well-established mining support services industry will also be a winner, with plans to source equipment and maintenance services from Mackay.
It also announced that Emerald, Clermont, Moranbah, Collinsville and Charters Towers would be the source of support services including workers for its projects.
“We are particularly focusing on the construction of our planned near-400km rail line to be constructed between the Carmichael mine and our bulk port facility at Abbot Point near Bowen,” Mr Janakaraj said.
“So we need people and services in the region to build that rail link, as well as companies to provide resources.”
The provision of good, services and labour from the regional towns would be supplemented by Rockhampton, Mackay and Townsville.
Rockhampton region Mayor Margaret Strelow welcomed the company’s shortlisting of Rockhampton, along with Townsville, as a hub for FIFO operations.
“While we don’t yet know exactly how many jobs this will deliver for our community, we are delighted and deeply grateful to all levels of government who have worked together to see this project deliver this much-needed economic boost,” Cr Strelow said.