1292 BEDS FOR RE­GION

After seven years, a $120 mil­lion work­ers’ camp is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the year’s end

The Western Star - - Front Page - Zoe Bell

FUR­THER stages of a $120 mil­lion work­ers camp, which will cater for up to 1292 peo­ple, is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of the year.

FUR­THER stages of a $120 mil­lion work­ers’ camp, which will cater for up to 1292 peo­ple, is ex­pected to be com­pleted in Miles be­fore the year ends.

After de­vel­op­ment was started in 2013, Room2­move spent $10 mil­lion on the project, un­til ap­proval ran out on April 15, 2019.

Only land ac­qui­si­tion, town plan­ning, ar­chi­tec­tural, ini­tial site works, cen­tral fa­cil­i­ties, util­ity up­grades and de­tailed en­gi­neer­ing de­sign had been done.

In April 2018 Room2­move ap­plied to the Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil for a de­vel­op­ment ap­proval for 12 months, how­ever the ap­proval was sub­se­quently de­nied and Room2­move ap­pealed the de­ci­sion, tak­ing the coun­cil to the Plan­ning and En­vi­ron­ment Court in July this year.

The coun­cil’s rea­son­ing for deny­ing the ap­proval was that, at the time of the orig­i­nal de­vel­op­ment with the coal seam gas boom, ac­com­mo­da­tion had peaked. The boom had since ended and it was be­lieved there was no longer a need.

Judge Wil­liamson QC con­sid­ered the two points, how­ever noted that a lot of in­for­ma­tion was based on pro­jec­tions and was lim­ited, spec­u­la­tive and re­moved from pri­mary sources.

With the ap­prox­i­mately 200 beds in work­ers’ ac­com­mo­da­tion in Miles at ca­pac­ity, the judge ac­cepted a sur­plus of ac­com­mo­da­tion was needed.

Judge Wil­liamson con­cluded there was a need for the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment and granted Room2­Move ap­proval for the project un­til July 26, 2020.

Room2­move manag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Czis­lowski said he be­lieved since Miles was recog­nised by the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment bod­ies as one for Aus­tralia’s ma­jor “en­ergy hubs”, there was enough de­mand.

“We un­der­stand the re­gion is on the cusp of fur­ther de­vel­op­ment with al­most 25,000 sq km be­ing re­leased in Queens­land for gas ex­plo­ration since early 2017, al­most a third of it for the do­mes­tic mar­ket only,” he said.

“And in par­tic­u­lar, ap­proval has been granted for 14 pe­tro­leum leases be­tween Dalby and Wan­doan.

“Over­all we be­lieve ma­jor project work is ex­pected to av­er­age around $500 mil­lion per an­num though to 2022/2023.”

Not tar­geted at spe­cific projects or clients, the new camp, will be be­hind Miles golf course on Lay­cock Rd.

❝ Lo­cal sup­port and em­ploy­ment has been paramount in get­ting this project to its cur­rent sta­tus.

— Manag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Czis­lowski

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

AP­PROVED: Room2­move has been granted ap­proval for a new work­ers camp.

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