Local pollie backs bringing Gladstone FIFOs home
IT ALL started with a boom.
But what goes up must come down.
Now the economic needs for regional Queensland towns like Gladstone have reached Canberra's Parliament House with an urgent call for more funding.
As workers continue to leave the state in search for work, Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher has backed a plea for help for our state, which was once a resource heavyweight.
This week Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk urged the Turnbull government to open the gates on billions of dollars to help fund projects that would boost the state's economy in regional cities.
She highlighted road infrastructure and rail projects as needs for priority funding by the Federal Government.
"We've been through massive changes and we've had people come to Gladstone for FIFO work, and now people are on the flip side of that, with the good people of Gladstone travelling elsewhere just to secure work," Mr Butcher said.
The lack of construction work was echoed by two Gladstone residents, now fly-in-fly-out workers in Darwin, who told The Observer last week it was the first time they had to leave their home state for employment.
The former Curtis Island workers agreed the jobs just weren't around in Queensland.
Mr Butcher said the hospital emergency department upgrade, Gladstone Oil Refinery's fuel import terminal and the Gladstone Area Water Board's $30 million upgrade would give a healthy top up of jobs for the local workforce next year.
But he said more needed to be done to cushion the huge downturn from the end of construction for the three LNG plants on Curtis Island.
The plea, according to The Australian, was made during Friday's Council of Australian Government's meeting.
"Gladstone people pay a hell of a lot of tax and ... look at our royalties coming out of Gladstone with our coal and LNG industries, the people of Gladstone deserve better," Mr Butcher said.
While there was no agreement on economic funding reform, Mr Butcher is confident the Premier will secure the cash.
"We need the big infrastructure projects in Gladstone," he said.
"I'm steadfast, I'll fight that we get these projects in Queensland."