Utilising both cities as FIFO hubs would minimise unforeseen travel risks and downtime. Image: Queensland Airports.
BY CAMERON DRUMMOND
A TWO horse race has ended in a dead heat, with both Rockhampton and Townsville to become FIFO hubs for Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael coal development.
The cities both put in strong individual business cases, and Adani decided to utilise twin marshalling points for the massive mine, rail and port project.
Adani Australia chief executive Jeyakumar Janakaraj said the first order of business would be the construction of an airstrip close to the mine to deliver construction workers from Townsville and Rockhampton.
“Then we can start construction of the Carmichael thermal coal mine and the western sections of the Carmichael Rail Network,” Mr Janakaraj said.
He said that while the FIFO decision had been difficult, he was pleased that both cities came out winners.
“Rockhampton and Townsville put in commercially strong and competitive bids to be the single FIFO hub for the Carmichael project,” he said.
“The bottom line for Adani was the size of the workforce needed, both in the construction stage and the operational stage, as well as our commitment to generate jobs across regional QLD.
“I wish to thank the respective Mayors – Jenny Hill, from Townsville, and Margaret Strelow, from Rockhampton – for their unwavering support of our project and for leading their respective communities’ professional bids.
“I also wish to thank the Rockhampton and Townsville business organisations and their State and Federal political representatives who have all promoted their cities and regions.”
Adani said it would be further updates soon relating to mining machinery.
PROGRESS TO DATE:
• $150M+ contracts awarded for rail lines and sleepers
• Downer Mining awarded Carmichael construction and operation contract
• Start of pre-construction works
• Start of mining camp refurbishment
• Established Adani Mining HQ in Townsville
• Townsville and Rockhampton named FIFO hubs
• Deployed field staff for surveying, soil test drilling for the rail project
Cause for celebration
THE Palaszczuk Government has welcomed Adani Australia’s decision to pick both Townsville and Rockhampton as the cities to host FIFO hubs for the project.
QLD Agriculture minister Bill Byrne said the State had previously called for Adani to select both cities as FIFO hubs.
“When the Premier met Adani Chairman Gautam Adani last year, she secured a series of commitments about its workforce,” Mr Byrne said.
“At that time, Adani confirmed the shortlist for a FIFO hub was Rockhampton and Townsville, with a decision due this year coinciding with the start of early works.”
Member for Mundingburra Coralee O’Rourke said it was welcome news for Townsville locals that Adani had selected their city as one of the projects FIFO locations.
“The rivalry between Townsville and Rockhampton is long-standing, and both Councils have worked with Adani making their case to be a FIFO Hub,” Mrs O’Rourke said.
“Our focus has been to maximise the jobs it will generate, directly and indirectly, and see the benefits from this project spread right across regional QLD.”
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow said the agreement with Adani guarantees a third of the construction jobs and half of the ongoing operational jobs will be sourced from Rockhampton.
“This is a defining moment for Rockhampton that will change the face of our region for generations to come,” Mayor Strelow said.
“The influx of more than 1700 new jobs will be a massive driver for our local economy and the benefits extend to more than just employment – it’s more money being spent in our shops and more people living in our region.
The deal secures a third of the project’s construction force – more than 1100 jobs – to be based out of Rockhampton, with another 625 positions based in the city once the mine entered its operational phase.
“It’s up to us a community now to make sure that we make the most of this opportunity,” Mayor Strelow said.