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An aggressive late bid by Whitsunday Regional Council to convince Adani to consider Bowen as an option for its Carmichael Coal Mine project headquarters may have failed but there were promising talks about other opportunities.
Council’s Economic Development Advisory Committee Chair Cr Mike Brunker and Executive Officer Economic Development Melanie Davies travelled to Brisbane last Friday for a meeting with Adani General Manager-Project and Infrastructure Ian Sedgman and General Manager-Corporate Affairs Raj Guruswamy.
Last month Cr Brunker moved a motion at a council meeting that Whitsunday Regional Council immediately contact Adani chiefs and offer a parcel of land on the Esplanade in Bowen, owned by council and of a suitable size to build their head office.
However Cr Brunker said at the Brisbane meeting Adani expressed that although their desire was to have their main base in a larger regional city they would reconsider how and where they may structure their port and rail operational offices.
“We discussed Adani’s requirements they indicated that the initial workforce onsite 24/7 for Stage 1 (Open Pit) was more than 800 and the rail and port operations would employ a further 300 plus.
“The meeting gave us the opportunity to pitch our region and Bowen as an option and also introduce our new economic development focus and strengthen the connections between Adani and this council.
“We provided Adani with information and the opportunity to consider locating a smaller operational office in Bowen and utilising the Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine as a conduit for workers living in the Whitsunday region,” Cr Brunker said.
“We will be in further discussions with their key staff to arrange regular monthly meetings with their team to discuss items that need council approval or action to support their project.
“Adani is a major project which has a significant footprint in our Whitsunday Region, and council is keen to work with them to facilitate their project as it moves towards the construction phase.”
Ms Davies said she would also be arranging meetings with relevant regional stakeholders to establish business capabilities development workshops, information and training of local service operators to support the construction cycle of the Adani project.