Coun­cil, APLNG/Ori­gin inch to­wards his­toric deal CAMP A STEP CLOSER

Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion ‘pos­i­tive’

The Western Star - - Front Page - James Liveris [email protected]­ern­starnews.com

POS­I­TIVE com­mu­nity feed­back af­ter con­sul­ta­tion means ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil and Aus­tralia Pa­cific LNG/Ori­gin is one step closer to fi­nal­is­ing the fu­ture longevity of work­ers’ camps in the re­gion.

THE work­ers’ camps deal be­tween Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil and Aus­tralia Pa­cific LNG/Ori­gin is one step closer to fi­nal­i­sa­tion, with pos­i­tive feed­back com­ing out of com­mu­nity group con­sul­ta­tion.

The ne­go­ti­a­tion be­tween the two par­ties fol­lowed Ori­gin’s ap­pli­ca­tion to change a con­di­tion of their project, which was sub­mit­ted to the Queens­land Co-or­di­na­tor-Gen­eral last year.

Cur­rently the work­ers’ camp’s sta­tus is tem­po­rary, with the coal seam gas pow­er­house want­ing to ex­tend the life of the camps to per­ma­nent – a deal lo­cal busi­ness coun­cil­lor David Schefe said would have a pos­i­tive out­come for the re­gion eco­nom­i­cally.

At the coun­cil’s gen­eral meet­ing on Wed­nes­day, coun­cil­lors voted 7–0 for tak­ing com­mu­nity feed­back to APLNG and pro­gress­ing with the pro­posal.

Cr Schefe said the feed­back was gen­er­ally pos­i­tive.

“There are some points that dif­fer­ent groups have put for­ward that we will need to dis­cuss with APLNG be­fore mov­ing for­ward,” Cr Schefe said.

“The process has been re­ally good and re­spect­ful from both sides and it’s a mat­ter of un­der­stand­ing what both sides re­quire.

“They are a lo­cal busi­ness and they need to be able to op­er­ate ef­fi­ciently and we don’t want to sti­fle that but there are also ex­pec­ta­tions that coun­cil has to de­liver for our com­mu­nity.”

The pro­posed change would turn two sites of tem­po­rary ac­com­mo­da­tion into a per­ma­nent fix­ture for 20 years – the es­ti­mated du­ra­tion of APLNG op­er­a­tions in the Mara­noa.

Now that the com­mu­nity find­ings could be brought to the ta­ble, Cr Schefe said the coun­cil was fairly close to fi­nal­is­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tion.

“The ac­tual fi­nal agree­ment is yet to be drafted and we need a far more de­tailed doc­u­ment be­fore both par­ties ac­cept,” he said.

“How­ever we can now move for­ward and hope­fully we will have a de­ci­sion be­fore the tem­po­rary work­ers’ camp’s life ex­pire.”

The coun­cil has ex­tended the tem­po­rary sta­tus to Oc­to­ber 31.

PHOTO: FILE

MOV­ING FOR­WARD: Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil ne­go­ti­a­tions with Aus­tralia Pa­cific LNG/Ori­gin over the fu­ture of tem­po­rary work­ers’ camps in the re­gion pro­gresses.

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