Work­ers camp gets go ahead

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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