by Michelle Gately, and Kristen Booth
MINING juggernaut Adani announced a jobs bonanza for central Queensland with the long-term firepower to supercharge the economy for more than 30 years.
But Emerald Chamber of Commerce leader Victor Cominos said he didn't think the announced jobs would benefit Emerald greatly.
Mr Cominos' comments are based on the fact Adani executives named Rockhampton and Townsville as joint fly-in fly-out worker hubs for the massive Carmichael Mine near Clermont, instead of Emerald.
This split FIFO decision guarantees 2200 of the project's 3300 construction jobs will go to Rockhampton and Townsville regions (1100 each), meaning these well-paid workers will have to prove they live in either council area.
The combined construction (1100) and ongoing mine positions (625) means 1700 new jobs available for workers in our region.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had urged Adani to ensure the economic benefits and jobs from the project were maximised in regional Queensland.
"If Rockhampton and Townsville are going to be the hub, I don't think we will get a lot of benefit at all,” Mr Cominos said.
"It's safe to say that I'm disappointed that Rockhampton was chosen over Emerald.
"I do believe Emerald is closer to Alpha and has a better airport, so it would be logical to have Emerald as a hub.”
The final arrangement will see Townsville and Rockhampton putting $15.5million each towards the revised $31 million cost of the mine's airport.
The CEO of Indian mining giant Adani praised the work of all involved in securing Rockhampton's share of the Galilee Basin when he arrived in the region yesterday.
Jeyakumar Janakaraj confirmed the news the city had been holding its breath on - thousands of jobs would be guaranteed through the city's $15.5 million investment in the Carmichael Coal Mine FIFO hub.
Mr Janakaraj said there had been many naysayers ofthe $22 billion project overeight years, a reference to the numerous court actions taken by environmental activists.
He said these activists preferred to "create noise” and, while they did, had put in doubt the future of families in Australia and India.
"The role that regional Queensland has played in fostering trade ties is envious for many and few places can boast of huge untapped potential that is India's future,” Mr Janakaraj said.
"This is our time to shine, Australia and India.”
Mr Janakaraj said a strict commercial process had governed the decision for the FIFO hub.
He explained having two hubs would benefit more people along the Queensland coast and help build the Galilee Basin as a whole resources region.
However in celebrating the jobs to come from the announcement, Mr Janakaraj did not shy away from the economic issues that had stemmed from Queensland's resources downturn in the recent years.
"I know very well the story of Australian mining cycles and the impact on cities and, more importantly, the impacts on families and small business,” he said.
"Today I wish to assure you that my company, Adani, comes to Australia with more than heavy machinery and bulk coal ships.
"We have built a family of trust... which will stand in every step of our journey.
"Today's announcement makes a giant step forward in building the relationship between regional Queensland and Adani, and India and Australia at large.”