Call to give oil refinery jobs to local workers

GLADSTONE already has the workforce to build the proposed $700m oil refinery and doesn't need FIFO workers, a union organiser says.

The Curtis Island gas projects might have bought fly-in, fly-out workers to town, but it also gave Gladstone workers the chance to upskill.

Amid calls for a FIFO-free workforce, Gladstone Australian Metal Workers' Union organiser Phil Golby said there were enough people on the ground to build and operate the US$700 million refinery announced this week.

"We don't need another FIFO workforce," Mr Golby said. "We have the expertise.

"FIFO robs us of training opportunities for new apprentices and that's something we need to replace the old workforce as people retire."

The joint venture has not yet passed approvals phase, but construction should begin within the next two years.

The project's leader Duncan Mackenzie agrees with Mr Golby.

He knows what the community faced during the LNG boom and he's no fan of FIFO either.

"It's going to be a Gladstone company and we want Gladstone people," Mr Mackenzie said.

"There is a definite preference for hiring from the local workforce from both an operational and efficiency perspective.

"When construction is finished there's no debate about it - the operational workforce will have to reside locally."

The announcement also raised fears of another housing crisis.

But real estate agent Darryl Branthwaite said fears of soaring rent prices were likely misplaced.

"Let's just wait and see before we hit the panic buttons," Mr Branthwaite said.

"It will increase demand for housing, but Gladstone is in a much better position to handle something of this nature."


Grant William Nichols: I wonder if this story is only to stimulate the real estate market in the Gladstone area, hmmm.

Aaron Simpson: 18 months before construction will start. They have to get their approvals in check first. I love how people don't read an article and panic.

Laurie Sch Hope: It's not another Bolder Steel pipe dream.

Mel Blunt: Yep watch the rents skyrocket. Worst thing about Gladstone other than the pollution.

Gayle Bianchi: Great news for Gladstone and the businesses, and as its only 1000 construction people required rents should not be a problem as there are plenty of rental properties in this town now. So no need for anyone to panic

Ray Honeybone: Great news. But hope they only employ locals . No FIFO.. That has killed this town.. We need confidence in business to invest .. A fifo work force doesn't allow this.

Pippy Longstocking: There goes the rent. No hope of me getting back there any time soon.

Mike Groat: Gary Doherty Justin Abel, might be dangling a carrot for us not to leave tho.

Darren Dyason: Gladstone council will be licking their lips. Great excuse to put up rates.

Nome Michanicos: Kim Elcoate Shane can work here and you won't have to move!!

Nena Lee: Great news - let's make sure the money stays in Gladstone and the decision makers, planners actually think about infrastructure that Gladstone needs - maybe they need to have a look at Darwin and see what they have done to embrace all the new industries being built up there!! Ie catering for locals and permanent operational families after construction.

Topics:  editors picks fifo

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