Monday, August 22, 2011

Whitsunday Council to Focus on Fly-In Fly-Out at Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport as Other Central Queensland Mayors Join The Fight to Ban FIFO

The soon-to-be-appointed Whitsunday Coast Airport manager will have a big job ahead of them to lift the profile of the tourism industry and boost the economy by dipping into the Western Australian mining sector, according to mayor Mike Brunker.

The position was announced by council recently during their budget discussions when they cut $200,000 from Tourism Whitsundays and Enterprise Whitsundays to create the role.

Cr Brunker said it was time to change the industry focus of the Airlie Beach economy so it didn’t have to rely solely on tourism. He said there was money to be made by investing in the mining industry which would boost tourism.

Cr Brunker said he wanted the Whitsunday Coast / Proserpine Airport to be capable of supporting a workforce where miners could live in our region and fly directly to mine sites in Western Australia.

In September, Cr Brunker will visit areas including Karratha and Port Headland in the Pilbara to see how the towns manage a Fly in Fly out community and other mining-related growth issues - both economically and socially.

He said he wanted the airport manager to be able to approach different coal companies and airlines to make this possible.

Meanwhile, several other Central Queensland mayors have united in the fight against 100% fly-in, fly-out workforces in the region’s mining industry.

Chairman of the Galilee and Bowen Basin Council of Mayors, Cr Brad Carter said full FIFO workforces would result in big losses for Central Queensland.

Recently, Cr Carter was among the region’s local government representatives who attended the Moranbah Action Group’s meeting against BMA’s application for a 100% FIFO workforce at its Caval Ridge Mine.

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