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.