Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow.
Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow. Allan Reinikka ROK171117astrelow

ADANI: Mayor says mining firm given raw deal

PLEASE allow me to respond to some comments made by Robert Forsyth on the 9 December 2018.

Firstly can I thank Robert for a fairly balanced commentary on my position.

I set out my position in a Facebook post which was picked up by the Morning Bulletin.

A summary of my post is as follows..

'I believe in climate change and I believe that it is most likely man made.

I also believe that exporting our cleaner coal so that it can be used in place of the dirtier coal from some other countries is a sensible part of the equation as we develop alternative solutions.

I believe that Adani's reputation has been unfairly tarnished.

My experience of them is that they have good solid governance processes and they have dealt well with us.

The water for the Carmichael (adani) mine is not free, it's not unlimited, and it won't drain the Artesian Basin.

Adani did a legal deal with the Traditional Owners group.

A separate family group of Traditional Owners have challenged this agreement.

The courts have repeatedly upheld the original agreement.

The mine is now proposed to be the size of Blackwater mine.

Remember that the Bowen Basin was developed by Japanese companies but we all benefited.

I am confident that the jobs are real and that there will be real benefit for us. '

Robert and I both agree that it is my job to champion economic growth in our region.

We both agree that Adani are not necessarily the evil company they are made out to be. They have been caught in the crosshairs of a bitter, at times ugly but very important debate.

We both agree that our region needs to be considering a much broader range of opportunities to prepare ourselves for a world when renewables are carrying the load of providing power for the world growing economies.

Rockhampton Regional Council and its Economic Development arm Advance Rockhampton have deliberately focused energies towards industries that we believe will be strong in the coming decades.

Our attention has been turned to tourism (fishing, Mount Archer, Mount Morgan), agriculture (Rookwood Weir, Airport Cold storage and freight), with considerable energy also directed at aquaculture (fish farms and prawn farming)

Our economic development strategies, marketing and infrastructure concessions are very much targeted at these future industries. And we have significant concessions for development around the health and education sectors as well.

We are absolutely focusing on the long haul.

PS Robert took issue with some figures quoted in The Morning Bulletin story. These were not my figures - I didn't quote them.
The story was a mixture of my own words (from my Facebook page) and additional information researched by the journalist.

Margaret Strelow
Mayor, Rockhampton Regional Council

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