Isaac Regional Council in the northern Bowen Basin has put its hand up for hardship funding coming from announcements made in the wake of the Queensland Nickel sackings.
More than 230 staff were put off from Clive Palmer’s Townsville refinery after a move by the management team to enter into voluntary administration.
The Premier has committed a $187 million support package generating 430 jobs for North Queensland including a $55 million project for Townsville which will support 100 jobs.
While welcoming the State Government’s quick response in Townsville, Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said her region had taken a larger proportional hit.
The plummeting demand for coal had left more than 7000 out of work in the area from Mackay west, Cr Baker said.
An accelerated works program in the region would be timely, she said.
“With the Minister’s deadline fast approaching to list priority projects across the state, council is advocating for priority road infrastructure in Isaac” Cr Baker said.
“We understand the Premier is intending to roll out the program to other regions as soon as possible, and we ask that urgent consideration and priority be given to ours.
“We have heavily felt the impact of recent job losses in the resource sector, with the greater Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday region recording 7000 job losses in recent years.
“The Accelerated Works Program would provide a crucial boost to confidence in our economy and more employment opportunities.
“As a region spanning 58,862 sq km, improving and maintaining our extensive road network is a key priority.”
Agricultural and mining industries would benefit from investment in key transport links such as Alpha-Clermont Rd, Middlemount-Dysart Rd and the Peak Downs, Gregory and Bruce Highways, Cr Baker said.
“We look forward to working with the State to prioritise budgeted projects to deliver the best outcomes for our people,” she said.
“Targeted investment in priority roads is vital for our communities, industry and business, and we will advocate strongly for Isaac to benefit from the Accelerated Works Program.”