Stories

Jan 19, 2016
Major works begin on $1.6b road project

Major works begin on $1.6b road project

Major works are expected to begin in March as the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project ramps up. Preliminary construction activities are under way this month including survey work, geotechnical investigations and potholing on local roads and footpaths to identify existing public utility services, according to Nexus Infrastructure. The Nexus Infrastructure consortium holds the contr...

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Jan 18, 2016
El Nino adds concern for longer drought

El Nino adds concern for longer drought

Drought conditions continue to stress regional Queensland communities in the face of a weak wet season. As at January 1, 2016 there were 36 councils and five part council areas drought declared, with 40 Individually Droughted Properties in a further seven council areas. “No good will come of it. We’re in fairly historic times now,” North Queensland Local Government Association president ...

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Jan 15, 2016
Aussie-made in favour in a growing consumer pie

Aussie-made in favour in a growing consumer pie

It seems we are more likely to buy Australian-made. In the 12 months to September 2015, 89.2 per cent of Australians aged 14 years and over said they’d be more likely to buy products made in Australia — an improvement on 2013, when it was 85.6 per cent, a Roy Morgan Research report shows. But they’d also be more likely to buy overseas goods, especially from Canada, Sweden, France and Spain,...

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Jan 15, 2016
Coal stars in Mackay photo competition

Coal stars in Mackay photo competition

The pride of Mackay has been caught digitally with 300 entries to a city council photo competition called ‘Share your #MackayPride moment’. It was taken out by Walkerston resident Giselle Anderson who caught the romance of the night with a shot over local coal handling facilities called Hay Point Moon Rises. The judges had a difficult job, according to Mackay Mayor Diedre Comeford. “With so...

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Jan 15, 2016
Eton Range reconstruction to start

Eton Range reconstruction to start

Monies are about to start flowing from a major roadworks on the Peak Downs Highway between Nebo and Mackay. Fulton Hogan has been chosen as the successful tenderer for the reconstruction project on the Eton Range.  It is part of the $166.17 million Peak Downs Highway Safety Works. “Over 4000 vehicles, including around 800 heavy vehicles, travel through the Eton Range each day,” Deputy Prime ...

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Jan 15, 2016
Job losses at Queensland Nickel

Job losses at Queensland Nickel

Queensland Nickel (QN) will make more than 230 positions redundant at its Yabulu refinery north of Townsville. That’s around a third of its workforce. Both the government and the Liberal-National Party opposition have rejected recent appeals by owner Clive Palmer for assistance in the face of low metals prices. Blame was placed at the feet of the state government for failing to prop up the opera...

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Jan 15, 2016
Reaction to Yabulu job losses

Reaction to Yabulu job losses

News of job losses at Queensland Nickel was extremely serious said local Townsville federal member, Herbert MP, Ewen Jones. The managing director of Clive Palmers’s Yabulu facility Clive Mensink announced the redundancies of 237 positions from the facility, located about 40kms north of Townsville, this morning. That’s around a third of job positions. Mr Palmer repeatedly made calls for help f...

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Jan 06, 2016
Pipeline of opportunity

Pipeline of opportunity

A gas industry forum is planned for Mount Isa in early 2016 to make the most of local opportunities stemming from an $800 million pipeline project. The Northern Territory Government’s selection of Jemena Northern Gas Pipeline to construct and operate the North East Gas Interconnector (NEGI) pipeline has guaranteed a Tennant Creek-Mount Isa gas route. Mount Isa to Townsville Economic D...

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Jan 06, 2016
Isa-Carpentaria appeals to logistics business

Isa-Carpentaria appeals to logistics business

Global logistics operation EMO Trans has homed in on Mount Isa as a go-ahead place to expand its business. Locally based Airside Logistics has been acting as an agency for EMO Trans since mid-year, streamlining import/export processes for clients in the North West. EMO Trans chief executive officer Ian Ahern said the agency gave Mount Isa the customs clearance services that would be ex...

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Jan 06, 2016
The people’s tribute to Mount Isa

The people’s tribute to Mount Isa

Mount Isa has a strong community spirit, according to resident Zyra Knight, with many local groups putting their time and skills into creating events and fundraising for causes within the community. Ms Knight is the President of Neighbourhood Watch Mount Isa, an active member of the Zonta Club of Mount Isa, and a supporter of the Mount Isa Theatrical Society and Arts On Alma. Ms Knight...

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Jan 06, 2016
From the coalfields to the outback

From the coalfields to the outback

Wade Remington has fond memories of working on cattle stations in the Mount Isa region as a 20-year-old mechanic. So when he got tired of the fly-in, fl y-out lifestyle in the Bowen Basin coal industry, after a decade of work there, the North West sprang to mind. “Everyone was so friendly and nice that I always thought I wouldn’t mind going back,” he said. Mr Remington started Topfi re Co...

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Jan 06, 2016
Awarded radio tech tuned to North West

Awarded radio tech tuned to North West

Radio technician Sam Driver was studying engineering in Brisbane before work opportunities drew him to Glencore and north-west Queensland. Mr Driver, 26, grew up in the Blackall area, did well in school and chose to pursue a degree with the University of Queensland. “I started it, then wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – I didn’t really want to sit at a desk all the time,” he sai...

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Jan 03, 2016
Mount Isa resilience part 4 – a hardened supply sector

Mount Isa resilience part 4 – a hardened supply sector

In part four of this week’s series on why Mount Isa will weather the current downturn and prosper we look at the resilience of the supply chain. Brett Peterson is not only Deputy Mayor of Mount Isa, he is also a business man and second generation local. Here’s his take on how the local supply chain is responding to the downturn. Cr Brett Peterson said the local business community would for...

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Jan 03, 2016
Mount Isa resilience part 3 – mature infrastructure

Mount Isa resilience part 3 – mature infrastructure

This week is focus on Mount Isa, its strengths and the reasons why it will thrive. Today we look at utilities that will support growth. Mount Isa Mining Supplies owner and deputy mayor Brett Peterson highlights the area’s mature infrastructure – power, water and transport networks – as huge ticks for its ongoing might. The NEGI project adds weight to this and Cr Peterson hopes it w...

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Jan 03, 2016
Mount Isa resilience Part 3 – Logistics base

Mount Isa resilience Part 3 – Logistics base

This week we are looking into the prospects for Mount Isa minerals province. So far we’ve looked at employment and emerging resource developments. In this instalment we look at why logistics companies are setting up in Mount Isa. Mount Isa Mining Supplies owner and deputy mayor Brett Peterson highlights the area’s mature infrastructure – power, water and transport networks – as huge...

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Jan 03, 2016
Mount Isa resilience Part Two – emerging resource projects

Mount Isa resilience Part Two – emerging resource projects

This week we’re looking into the reasons why the north west minerals provence will weather the downturn and go on to prosper. Today we’re looking at emerging resources projects … MMG recently announced it would bring the Dugald River zinc project into production in 2018 at an expected cost of $1 billion, and the planned $294 million development of the Little Eva deposit has a similar ...

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Jan 03, 2016
The construction litmus test on the north’s economy

The construction litmus test on the north’s economy

Construction will be a key driver in the future economic development of the north west. The latest Offermans Northern Exposure September quarter report also shows solid growth in the far northern construction sector over the past two years. Construction is north Queensland’s second largest industry, contributing $7.8 billion (10.7 per cent) to Gross Regional Product (GRP) in 2013-14. Constru...

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Jan 03, 2016
Mount Isa’s resilience – part one – employment opportunities

Mount Isa’s resilience – part one – employment opportunities

The North West’s mining industry boasts an estimated residential workforce of about 3500 full-time employees, according to the Queensland Resources Council. And it says the operations employ about 6200 employees and contractors in total. Empower Economics principal economist David Lynch said unemployment in the north-west had been declining in recent years, while the total labour forc...

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