A MACHINERY hire website has warned that the sector could be at risk of depression if the Carmichael mine and rail project does not get up.
Online plant hire aggregator iSeekplant said many contractors using its site were banking on Indian company Adani's $16 billion project for work, before the Federal Court set aside the Federal Government approval.
The court found Environment Minister Greg Hunt had not properly considered advice about the mine's impacts on the ornamental snake and yakka skink.
The website said if the Galilee Basin project continued to struggle, with approvals or financially, there could be a downturn in the machinery hire industry.
Queensland University of Technology's Dr Mark McGovern said in the face of falling demand for coal, lower coal prices and concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, the mine was looking like a "long shot".
The economics and finance senior lecturer said as time wore on, it would likely become more difficult for coal mines to get up and running.
And there are likely to be more delays in store for Adani, CQUniversity regional economic development Professor John Rolfe said.
He said over the next 10 years demand for coal would grow, but after that it was likely to decline.
iSeekplant's advice to contractors is to turn their focus to the $30 billion in residential, civil and agribusiness projects in the pipeline across the state.
The website narrowed down the development hotspots to Stanthorpe, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Cairns, Logan, Moreton Bay, Toowoomba and Townsville.
Dr McGovern said regions hoping to benefit from the Adani project should also consider diversifying.
He suggested central Queensland focus more on agriculture and tourism to avoid any economic fall-out.
The comments come amidst news the Commonwealth Bank is no longer a financial advisor on the Carmichael project.
An Adani spokesman said it terminated the mandate with the bank due to "concerns over ongoing delays to a now five year-long approvals process here in Australia".
"In the event the Commonwealth approvals framework is not further undermined by activists seeking to exploit legal loopholes, enabling the project and the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment it would bring to be delivered, Adani would happily work with the bank in future," the spokesman said.