Work has begun on road construction at Adani Carmichael site
Work has begun on road construction at Adani Carmichael site Christine McKee

Adani jobs debate fires up over Seek numbers

ADANI positions advertised on jobs board Seek.com have been questioned after local MP Barry O'Rourke doubled down on his calls to establish an Adani jobs register.

The aim of a register is to ensure the miner delivers "promised" Rockhampton jobs.

In a Facebook post last week, Mr O'Rourke posted two screenshots of a job search for Adani jobs in Rockhampton, and the same search for Adani jobs in Townsville.

The screenshots showed 25 positions available in Townsville and only two in Rockhampton.

In past months, the miner confirmed Rockhampton and Townsville would be "primary employment hubs".

Mr O'Rourke's post said "this is another example of why we need an Adani jobs register".

The member in neighbouring Keppel, Brittany Lauga, came to the party soon after, sharing the post and saying Mr O'Rourke "is right to call for a jobs register".

"Given the significant public investment the Rockhampton Council is making to this project, ratepayers deserve to have transparency about the return on investment they can expect," she posted.

She told The Morning Bulletin yesterday that the register was an initiative the whole State Labor Government supported and that was expressed during recent visits from the Premier and Deputy Premier.

"I wish I weighed in earlier, but I was never asked," she said.

She described the Seek.com figures as a "slap in the face" and believed without a register, there would be no accountability on Adani's jobs.

The allocation of ratepayer money to the project such as the proposed $15million fly-in-fly-out hub at the proposed Carmichael site warranted the register she said.

However Rockhampton Region mayor Margaret Strelow said the claims of spending ratepayer money on an Adani deal were unfounded.

"It's somewhat disingenuous for Brittany and Barry to keep mentioning the airport money," Cr Strelow said.

"I rang Barry the day he first called for the register to let him know that council hadn't paid any money to Adani and it was already on the public record that no money had changed hands with Adani."

Cr Strelow, who until now had chosen not to engage with Mr O'Rourke's calls for the register, believed it was still early days in regards to the job opportunities at Adani.

"The state member should give the company a little more than 14 days to deliver on their employment commitments to our region," she said.

A spokesperson from Adani said the unequal positions on Seek.com were as a result of "technical issues."

They said the positions available in Townsville were also meant to be available for job seekers in Rockhampton.

"We have recently experienced some technical issues with some of our jobs ... on Seek only displaying as Townsville jobs, when they are also available to Rockhampton applicants," the spokesperson said.

The miner backed Cr Strelow's claims of no financial support from the local government.

"We do not require any federal, state or local government funding for our project," she said.

"That means that our commitment to Rockhampton Regional Council and Townsville City Council as employment hubs does not require a single cent of ratepayer funds from these communities."

Cr Strelow said Mr O'Rourke had shown "poor form" in his campaign to initiate a jobs register for the miner she called "a special rule for Adani".

Both MPs said they would continue to campaign for the register.

"The truth is we're in competition for these positions with Townsville and I don't want to see Rocky get left behind," Mr O'Rourke said.

"The people of Rockhampton want to make sure we get the jobs we have been promised, especially if ratepayer money is involved.

"We also need to make sure these are real local jobs - we don't want a situation where people come up and stay with some friends for a few weeks to get a job with Adani and then end up commuting from Brisbane."

The register would be a great way to promote Rockhampton.

"If we have a transparent registry of jobs being created in our city, we can use it to attract investors and help create even more job opportunities here in Rocky," Mr O'Rourke said.