Influx of miners to Whitsundays

Whitsunday Coast Airport general manager Scott Waters believes development of the Galilee Basin offers a high level opportunity for the Whitsunday region and he expects high growth over the next 12 to 24 months.
Whitsunday Coast Airport general manager Scott Waters believes development of the Galilee Basin offers a high level opportunity for the Whitsunday region and he expects high growth over the next 12 to 24 months. Sharon Smallwood

THE Whitsunday region is perfectly positioned to become a mining hub for the Galilee Basin.

Whitsunday Mayor Mike Brunker said the Galilee Basin was a new frontier for mining because it was a greenfield site.

"There is no mining community out there," Cr Brunker said.

"We are trying to set the Whitsundays region (which includes Proserpine, Collinsville and Bowen) up as a place where miners can rest and play and, of course, work in the Galilee Basin."

Whitsunday Coast Airport general manager Scott Waters said there was a strategic and operational plan in place at the airport.

"One of the key strategic priorities is fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and charter growth," Mr Waters said.

The airport was being positioned from a multi-dimensional perspective and one of the key drivers had always been tourism, he said.

However, growth within the mining industry would help to diversify the Whitsundays' economy.

Mr Waters said the Galilee Basin offered a high level opportunity for the region and he expects high growth over the next 12 to 24 months.

"Due to its remoteness, it will be predominately a FIFO operation," he said, adding that the Whitsunday region could become a prime hub.

This transformation will take place in a number of phases with a particular focus on the Galilee Basin.

"The first will be the construction phase... FIFO construction workers for Galilee Basin and associated infrastructure such as Abbot Point," Mr Waters said.

On completion, the region should see a steady flow of permanent workers.

"I think we're really in the front row... because of Abbot Point."

Cr Brunker said housing wouldn't be an issue with an excess of accommodation, particularly in Bowen and the Whitsundays.

"There are scored of rentals available... the valuation of units is dropping, so it's also a good time to buy... it's well suited to whatever you want," he said.

"(Workers can take) road networks out through Collinsville and out to Newlands Mine... people in Proserpine can drive the Marian Rd to Moranbah."

Topics:  galilee basin, mike brunker, miners, mining, whitsunday



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