A $22 billion coal project in Central Queensland’s northern Galilee Basin has attracted thousands of job-seekers who are hoping to gain a slice of the action.
Adani Australia confirmed the total number of job applications for its Carmichael Coal Mine has topped a staggering 14,500, and 39 percent of applicants said they were unemployed at the time of registration.
The company presented the figures as evidence the community supports the project, which has faced constant delays due to environmental concerns.
“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 in a public statement. “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.”
Adani called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to put Queenslanders first instead of playing politics.
“The [State] 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,” Dow said. “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.”
Many of the workers are from regional towns where the economy is not doing as well as the state capital of Brisbane. The average time required to find a job is nine months in Townsville compared to five months in Mackay and the Fitzroy region, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Labour Force median timeframes in November 2018.
“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,’’ Dow said.
Adani has already committed to setting-up employment hubs in Rockhampton, Townsville and other parts of regional Queensland.
“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,” Dow said. “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.”
Before Christmas Adani invited expressions of interest for people wanting to work at the project. If approved, the project will employ 1500 people directly and 6750 indirectly across Queensland.
- 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.