All aboard Adani: Mackay to secure rail subcontractor work
ROCKHAMPTON may be the centre of Adani's latest $100 million contract but Mackay businesses are tipped to play a major role in getting the Carmichael mine rail project on track.
Controversial miner Adani has reached a major new milestone for the mine, awarding a contract to Australian firm Martinus Rail to construct its rail line connecting the Carmichael project with Abbot Point near Bowen.
While the firm will base its operations out of Adani's Rockhampton Business Centre, Resource Industry Network general manager Adrienne Rourke said Mackay would not be left out.
Ms Rourke believes there will plenty of opportunity for Mackay firms to pick up subcontracting work for the railway, on top of providing construction and maintenance services to Adani.
"The fact that the major rail contractor isn't based in Mackay doesn't mean Mackay businesses won't be involved," she said.
"We were never concerned when Townsville and Rockhampton were nominated as Adani's employment hubs, because Mackay is all about providing the supply chain - that's where we have the expertise."
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said while she was disappointed Rockhamption had been chosen over Mackay as the hub for the rail operation, she agreed there would be opportunities for local firms to get involved.
"We haven't seen any big contracts awarded to Mackay yet," Mrs Gilbert said.
"I do know that the companies working in the mining service sector are ready and waiting to pick up some of those contracts.
"Mackay did support this project in a very vocal way before the federal election and I'm expecting the company will show their gratitude back to the Mackay community by making sure we get our fair share of the work."
Ms Rourke said she was, however, aware of a number of local businesses which had secured work for the Indian miner.
In a statement, Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said more than $450 million in contracts had been awarded for the project since it was approved.
"We have always promised Queenslanders that we will deliver jobs and economic benefits for the regions, and it's a great feeling that we are now able to convert the promises into actions that are producing outcomes for regional communities," Mr Dow said.
"Since receiving our approvals we have not wasted a moment. Construction on the Carmichael mine and rail project is well and truly underway onsite, and our big contracts are now also lined up as we ramp up activity."
The company's decision is a win for regional Queensland jobs after new figures this week showed the Sunshine State had the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
However, the move will likely enliven environmental activists who continue to target the miner and companies working with it as part of a campaign to stop coal mining in Queensland.
Ms Rourke said she was pleased with the progress of the project.
"We'd like to see the construction of the mine get underway as soon as possible and businesses that are providing services to the Carmichael project be allowed to do that without any interruptions," she said.