shari

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - SHARI SHARI TAGLI­ABUE FOL­LOW SHARI ON TWIT­TER AT WWW. TWIT­TER. COM/ SHARITAGS EMAIL | SHARITAGS@ME.COM

The big win­ner of the air­port do­na­tion will be Queens­land Air­ports Ltd who will not only get fees for each FIFO worker go­ing through the ter­mi­nal at the Townsville Air­port end but will also col­lect rent from the coun­cil for the FIFO drug test­ing fa­cil­ity it in­tends to set up there.

I’VE al­ways be­lieved North Queens­lan­ders were ei­ther too laid back or too darned hot to get too hot un­der the col­lar about lo­cal is­sues, but it seems the lat­est move by the Townsville City Coun­cil has really riled up the masses.

When I say riled up I don’t mean any­one’s ac­tu­ally get­ting out and wav­ing plac­ards, but if flood­ing so­cial me­dia is con­sid­ered ac­tion then ratepay­ers have been giv­ing their key­boards a ma­jor work­out in con­dem­na­tion of the pro­posed air­port for Adani’s FIFO work­ers.

It seems the FIFO wind­fall was set to go to Rock­hamp­ton, whose city coun­cil voted to build the Adani Group a $ 20 mil­lion air­port back in Fe­bru­ary.

De­spite our Mayor’s at­tempts at throw­ing Rocky un­der the bus with dire pre­dic­tions of run­way flood­ing, this week our coun­cil ( with the ex­cep­tion of Cr Paul Ja­cobs) voted to cosy up with our south­ern neme­sis to fund a $ 37 mil­lion air­port, sav­ing Rocky a handy $ 1.5 mil­lion and cre­at­ing a storm of con­tro­versy in the process.

With the gen­eral per­cep­tion that our coun­cil isn’t ex­actly flush with funds and in the midst of a wa­ter cri­sis, be­ing able to pull $ 18.5 mil­lion out of nowhere to spend on in­fra­struc­ture for a pri­vate com­pany has not sat well with many in the elec­torate.

Add to this the April re­port in Rock­hamp­ton’s Morn­ing Bulletin ( owned by News Corp) that showed the Queens­land Au­dit Of­fice Lo­cal govern­ment Fi­nan­cial Re­port of 2015- 16 re­vealed Rocky to be ranked as low risk to re­pay debt from op­er­at­ing rev­enue with a score 38.48 per cent, and Townsville ranked in the high­est risk bracket with a score of 88.98 per cent.

I men­tioned last week that as we won’t be run­ning the air­port we won’t be get­ting any re­turn on this spend un­less other min­ing com­pa­nies use the fa­cil­i­ties fur­ther down the track.

The big win­ner of the air­port do­na­tion will be Queens­land Air­ports Ltd who will not only get fees for each FIFO worker go­ing through the ter­mi­nal at the Townsville Air­port end, but will also col­lect rent from the coun­cil for the FIFO drug test­ing fa­cil­ity that it in­tends to set up there.

De­spite this un­prof­itable ar­range­ment, prom­i­nent prop­erty de­vel­oper Lau­rence Lancini found 20 busi­ness peo­ple to en­dorse this use of ratepayer funds, yet go­ing by com­ments on so­cial me­dia, it ap­pears to have had the op­po­site ef­fect on Joe Ci­ti­zen.

Whether you agree with the mine or not, the gen­eral con­sen­sus is that the Adani Group should pay for their own air­port. Yet why would they when two towns so des­per­ate for the FIFO wind­fall from the as yet un­funded project agree to foot the bill, for an air­port worth $ 17 mil­lion more than first promised?

Our city needs both jobs and wa­ter, but with the du­pli­cate pipe­line funded and set to go ahead, why is it never men­tioned as an em­ploy­ment op­tion?

Couldn’t the po­ten­tial FIFO work­ers wait­ing for jobs that are yet to ma­te­ri­alise find work on the pipe­line?

Surely fo­cus­ing on build­ing in­fra­struc­ture that de­liv­ers wa­ter and jobs kills two ma­jor crises with one sat­is­fy­ingly large stone?

WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH THE MINE OR NOT, THE GEN­ERAL CON­SEN­SUS IS THAT THE ADANI GROUP SHOULD PAY FOR THEIR OWN AIR­PORT

WRONG PRI­OR­I­TIES: The Townsville Ross River Dam is now be­low 16 per cent and coun­cil has found money to sup­port a multi­na­tional bil­lion­aire.

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