Rocky was the underdog in the fight for Adani's FIFO Hub.
Rocky was the underdog in the fight for Adani's FIFO Hub. Harry Bruce

OPINION: Rocky took the Adani gamble, it deserves the reward

I WONDER what Rockhampton ratepayers would think if Mayor Margaret Strelow splashed out millions of their dollars to lure Adani to the region and then let other areas reap the rewards?

Cr Strelow has found herself in the firing line with her Livingstone and Gladstone counterparts after Adani this week announced it had jointly selected Rockhampton and Townsville as its FIFO bases for the Carmichael Mine operation.

This announcement means jobs, and lots of them, for these two areas.

And it also means other areas have missed out.

While I can understand the frustrations and disappointment of those in nearby areas, particularly given their support, I also can imagine Rockhampton ratepayers not being overly impressed with its Mayor if they had to pay all the costs and take the financial risks, while others gained the advantages.

Having been through an amalgamation and de-amalgamtion in the past decade and with a struggling economy, Cr Strelow has focused on getting the region's finances in order and that has enabled this bold play.

Just like business, politics, at times, can be a ruthless world and people expect their leaders to look after their interests.

The rewards other areas have sought should be at a commensurate level to their financial investment. It has not been a closely guarded secret in recent months that Rockhampton was offering up a major financial commitment to secure this opportunity.

Councils drive their own agendas and we are lucky at the moment to have so many exciting things happening around our region, such as major projects at the Yeppoon foreshore, Emu Park foreshore, Kershaw Gardens and Rockhampton's CBD.

Central Queensland has truly passionate leaders who work tirelessly for their communities.