Rocky Mayor cuts leave short for last-pitch Adani meetings

12th August 2017 6:00 AM
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow shakes hands with Adani chairman Gautam Adani. Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow shakes hands with Adani chairman Gautam Adani. Contributed

ROCKHAMPTON Mayor Margaret Strelow cut short long-planned leave this week to attend last pitch meetings with Adani decision makers.

The region's community and business leaders are collectively holding their breath with the mining giant's decision "imminent” on whether Rockhampton has done enough to be named the FIFO hub for its Carmichael Mine operation.

Rockhampton and Townsville are both shortlisted to service the FIFO requirements for the mine, which is expected to generate thousands of jobs.

An Adani spokesman yesterday confirmed a decision was "close”, however, he wasn't giving anything away as he praised both the Rockhampton and Townsville camps for their "professional” bids.

Rockhampton Regional Council yesterday issued a statement saying it "continued to work closely with Adani around the imminent decision”.

Cr Strelow said the deal remained an absolute priority, which was why she returned from leave for the meetings.

"We have left nothing on the table,” Cr Strelow said.

"Councillors have been united in their determination that we give everything we can to this bid.

"I understand how critically important the FIFO jobs would be for our community.

"Adani is indicating a decision is very close and they have made it very clear that the decision will be purely commercial.”

The Adani spokesman yesterday told The Morning Bulletin an announcement "was not too far away”.

The spokesman said a lot of work was happening behind the scenes to progress the project.

"Both the Rockhampton pitch and Townsville pitch are top class, very professional,” the spokesman said.

"The effort put in by the mayor, by the business community, by the state and federal members and those in this part of the world (Rockhampton) is very impressive.

"Everyone should get a pat on the back.”

Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry also met with Adani representatives in Canberra on Thursday, where she also again pushed Rockhampton's case.

CANBERRA CATCH-UP: Muthuraj Guruswamy and Jennifer Purdie from Adani Australia Renewables with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry.
CANBERRA CATCH-UP: Muthuraj Guruswamy and Jennifer Purdie from Adani Australia Renewables with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry (centre).

"I was pleased to catch up with Raj (Muthuraj Guruswamy) and Jenny (Jennifer Purdie) from Adani yesterday in Canberra to discuss progression of their Australian projects, where I pushed again for a FIFO hub to be based in Rockhampton,” Ms Landry said.

"They are still hoping to begin construction of the Carmichael Mine in a few months and they are working through the logistics.

"In the meantime, it is very welcoming to see the progress of the Rugby Run project. This is a Solar Plant which will be built outside of Moranbah that will create up to 150 jobs on construction with up to six permanent jobs.”

Council's CEO Evan Pardon said council was also working with local businesses to get them ready for any Adani opportunities with well attended forums held in Rockhampton and Gracemere this week.

"These forums are about helping local businesses prepare and position themselves competitively for any direct work out of Adani's Carmichael Mine Project,” Mr Pardon said.

"Led by supply chain expert Sharyn Grant, the seminars provided advice on how to make the most of the upcoming opportunities including how to expand their business, partnering with other businesses and how to use online tendering platforms.

"These seminars are one of a number of initiatives being undertaken by Council as part of our Gear Up Rocky campaign with further events scheduled throughout the year including training courses, business development discussions, networking sessions and more.

"We look forward to an announcement around the FIFO Hub for the Carmichael Mine being made shortly.”