Almost 14,500 people have applied to work at the, still to be completed, Adani Carmichael coal mine. That’s more than the entire population of Emerald.
Significantly, 5661 were unemployed when they registered.
Meanwhile, it takes nine months or more to find a job in Townsville and five months in Mackay and the Fitzroy region (ABS Labour Force November median timeframes).
“When you get 14,500 people wanting to work for you and most of these people come from Queensland, you would hope the Queensland Government would take notice,’’ Adani Australia Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said.
“A large number of those people are blue-collar workers, but the professionals and white collar workers like engineers, office managers and geologists are lining up as well.
“Hundreds of these workers are from towns where the economy is not doing as well as Brisbane.
“This sort of public response is a rejection of the fear and misinformation campaign waged by activists in an attempt to kill off the state’s key industry.’’
Mr Dow said that based on previous employment commitments to regional Queensland, Rockhampton and Townsville will be the primary employment hubs.
“Rockhampton and Townsville are hurting from unemployment issues. We have jobs ready to go now and we’ve committed to getting our workers from Rockhampton and Townsville.
“Our contractors will largely come from across regional Queensland as well, from places like the Isaac region, Mackay, the Whitsundays and Gladstone as well as Townsville and Rockhampton.
“Over the past 9 months, we’ve already invested $70 million worth of work on the Carmichael Project alone, and Adani has invested more than $3.3 billion in Australia since 2010.
“We’re doing everything we can to get these people into jobs, but we need the Queensland Government to get onboard and help us deliver jobs that are ready for regional Queensland communities tomorrow if we’re given the green light to proceed,” Mr Dow said.
In December Adani advertised for expressions of interest for people wanting to work at the project. When the December numbers were added to previous registrations, the total was 14,498.
“Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should put Queenslanders first instead of playing politics with their lives and fortunes,’’ Mr Dow said.
“The Government has to stop moving the goal posts.
“We’re getting on with doing everything we can under our current approvals.
“In terms of getting started on the mine, we have submitted our remaining management plans.
“In relation to the approval of these plans and getting started, we have certainty of process and timing at both the Federal and Local Government levels however the Queensland Government has to date been unwilling to commit.
“We are simply seeking a fair go from the Queensland Government, as we are committed and wanting to start delivering upon the 1,500 direct jobs and 6,750* supporting jobs that the Carmichael Project will deliver for central and northern Queensland.
“Given we meet the same environmental standards and operate under the same regulations as other miners, we expect Adani will be treated no differently, yet some of Adani’s management plans have been stuck in the bureaucracy for more than 18 months.
“Queensland doesn’t begin and end in the south east corner and the Government has to start giving priority to the regions by allowing Adani to get on with employing thousands of people.’’
Of the 8600 people who included their residential data, 7217 were from Queensland where unemployment is above 6 per cent.
“Regional Queensland needs these jobs. The Outback’s unemployment rate is above 14 per cent and in Townsville the median search for a job is 37 weeks,’’ Mr Dow said.
“That’s more than 9 months and many would face a much longer wait than that.
In Fitzroy, which includes Rockhampton, the search takes a median 22 weeks and even Mackay, where unemployment is low, it takes 21 weeks while in Brisbane it’s only 15 weeks (ABS Nov Labour Force).
Job Registration Data:
14,498 have registered with Adani as of January 24
5661 said they were unemployed at the time of registering
4241 had been unemployed for four weeks or more at the time of registering.
8599 included their residential details. Of the 8,599 that entered residential data:
438 applicants are from New South Wales
114 applicants are from Northern Territory
7,217 are from Queensland alone (1,550 from Townsville, 174 Bowen, 549 from Mackay, 50 from Moranbah, 29 Clermont, 103 Emerald, Yeppoon 151, 723 Rockhampton, 461 Gladstone, 81 Bundaberg, 1080 Brisbane, 444 Gold Coast, and other regional areas)
112 are from South Australia
39 are from Tasmania
288 are from Victoria
286 are from Western Australia
But the mine is under an 11th hour review by the State Government.
The Queensland Resources Council said it is not surprising that almost 14,500 people have expressed interest in working on the Adani mining project.
The resources sector is a strong and steady employer of Queenslanders, despite the fact that Queensland's unemployment rate is among the highest in Australia.
Over the past twelve months, the resources industry has added more than 10,000 extra jobs. Its continued strength is essential to our state.
Resources jobs underpin the economy of South East Queensland, but importantly, they also drive the economies of Central and North Queensland too.
The resources sector is primed to keep investing and keep employing, especially given the global demand for our commodities including thermal coal, met coal, bauxite and zinc.
It is essential that we have the right processes in place to ensure the resources sector can continue to support the Queensland economy, and that Queensland maintains its reputation as a stable place to invest.
All projects should be given a fair go and treated on their merits, with consistent rules and regulations.
The Adani Carmichael project has undergone stringent state and federal assessment processes over the last eight years.
The QRC urges the Palaszczuk Government to complete the final assessment in a timely and transparent manner.
There should be no unnecessary hurdles or delays.
The QRC said Queenslanders' jobs are depending on it.
By Michelle Price