FUNDING UNCERTAINTY: Many people will be relieved if the Rookwood Weir project gets the funding needed.
FUNDING UNCERTAINTY: Many people will be relieved if the Rookwood Weir project gets the funding needed. Declan Cooley

Deputy mayor says 'tsunami' is coming, Rookwood must start

IF PROJECTS like Rookwood Weir don't happen, Gladstone will face a "tsunami of pain".

That's the repeated warning coming from Gladstone Regional Council deputy mayor Chris Trevor.

Cr Trevor said huge amounts of money had flowed into the economy as locals working on remote LNG projects across the nation sent money home to their families.

However, he said this cashflow was now at risk.

Cr Trevor said within the next 12-18 months, as construction work dried up on remote projects like Barrow Island and Wheatstone, workers would be heading back to Gladstone where they faced an uncertain future.

He responded to reports yesterday that the Rookwood proposal would cost $352million.

"The longer you delay it, the more it costs and we can't afford any more delays as we need the jobs for our locals," Cr Trevor said.

"We've already seen the loss of 14,000 construction jobs in the Gladstone region ... we've seen the loss of 20,000 jobs in the Bowen Basin.

"There's been nothing to fill that vacuum other than (those) leaving their community to seek gainful employment."

Cr Trevor said Rookwood Weir needed to get started "as a matter of urgency".

"We don't want to lose those talented (construction workers) to some other industry and then have to train others to fill that gap. We need to provide ready and gainful employment for those people," he said.

The deputy mayor said it was well-known an itinerant workforce created social problems.

"We need to provide jobs for our people and our community rather than sending them away," he said.

Previously Cr Trevor has called on both levels of government to do more to support Gladstone.



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