FROM a purely economic point of view, the Queensland government's decision to "consider" offering long-term leases for operation of the Port of Gladstone might make some sense.
A private operator might achieve a healthier bottom line, but whatever sense such a semi-privatisation might make economically, there is no doubt it would cause worry for the community.
With so many major construction projects underway at the moment, there are plenty of highly paid casual jobs in Gladstone, but what a community really needs is full-time jobs that will last years.
Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) provides those.
We have no way of knowing what a private operator would do to the workforce across GPC.
However, we do know coal companies operating in Central Queensland prefer to operate with casual workforces, so they can instantly adjust to the whims of their market.
Would it really be in the best interests of Gladstone for our port to be run the same way?