LISTEN: The CQ industry resilient against mining downturn
THERE is an industry in Central Queensland holding fast against the affect of the mining downturn.
In an industry which never relied on the mining boom and was as consistent as when resources brought billions to the regions, Theodore medical superintendent Bruce Chater said the health industry was not over until the fat lady sung.
Dr Chater was involved in the lengthy recruitment process of a medical superintendent in Baralaba and said the department had found the person for the job despite the slashing of 75 jobs at Cockatoo Coal at Baralaba when the site went into administration earlier this year.
He said the affect the mining downturn had on a rural industry depended on how much it relied on mining profit during a boom.
"The bigger the rise the larger the fall. I think the communities that are more dependent on mining and that's helped their community along are really feeling it," Mr Chater said.
"There has been concern in many of those towns about the business opportunities that there are and I think that puts a lot of pressure on the people in those towns.
"We don't get as much affected by it in Theodore as the main centre for mining in our area is Moura but I am sure those people in Moura can remember the booms and the busts over time."
Mr Chater said he was hopeful the position at Baralaba would be filled for the long term and would provide the necessary support for the community.
"I'd very excited for them and it ain't over till the fat lady sings so we don't want to count our chickens before they hatch so at this stage we're hopeful," he said.
"Certainly in previous times without this nice partnership and the involvement on the community we weren't nearly as successful in at least getting applicants so hopefully that will go all the way in at least getting somebody into the community but there is a little bit of time yet to see with that.
"We're very gratified to see some keen interest in the position at Baralaba this time."
Mr Chater said the downturn in the Central Queensland mining industry and at Baralaba in particular had little affect on the recruitment process unlike what it might have had in other industries.
"There is a fair bit of work in rural towns in the resident communities," he said.
"When you look at a doctor's work a lot of the work is with the young and the aged, particularly the aged and you find a lot of hip young miners don't bring an awful lot more work for doctors in rural towns.
"In the bigger mining towns often some of the practices in particular will rely on work on medicals and things like that so in the larger towns probably the mining downturn has a little bit more affect on the viability of those practices.
"But for the general rural town as far as attracting doctors in probably I'd hope there wouldn't be a large affect."