Workers camp gets go ahead
A CONTROVERSIAL development proposal to build a workers’ accommodation facility on Henderson Street in Collinsville, was finally approved at yesterday’s ordinary council meeting in Bowen.
Councillors were again divided, with the approval granted on a narrow margin of four votes to three. As with last week’s budget, Cr’s Kevin Collins, John Collins and Jan Clifford voted with mayor Jennifer Whitney in favour of the motion. Cr’s Willcox Ramage and Clark voted against it.
Mining Communities United (MCU) president Donna Bulloch was one of those who previously called on council to reject what she called “yet another inappropriate camp application” in the Collinsville community.
Ms Bulloch said the heritage and cultural significance of this particular site, where seven miners were believed to have died in an accident almost 60 years ago, was immeasurable.
However, project proponent and Alataro managing director John McGowan, says the miners actually lost their lives on the adjacent land, which is under the lease of the Collinsville mine.
“However, we are aware of this and the fact that no memorial has been erected in the last 60 years, so we have proposed to build and give access through our site to a memorial walk and plant seven trees, one for each miner who died, with a memorial plaque, which will be paid for by the developers even though it’s not part of our land,” he said.
Mr McGowan also said the accommodation village, comprising 300 homes for single people, 32 homes for couples and six, three-bedroom houses, was not necessarily a mining camp.
“We’re not building dongers, we’re building a residential development, although it will be primarily for miners as that is the biggest single source of employment in Collinsville,” he said.
APPROVED: Alataro managing director John McGowan was pleased with council's decision to approve a residential development in Collinsville.