Townsville City Council has announced that $18.5 million in proposed funding for the Carmichael Airstrip in Queensland’s Galilee Basin will be diverted into other projects.

Townsville Mayor, Jenny Hill, said that while she is fully supportive of the Carmichael mine, continued delays with the project meant the money would be invested in other projects around the city.

“Council has on two occasions extended our agreement to part fund the airport in the Galilee Basin, and I made it clear to Adani that they had until June 30 to get the project going, otherwise Council would be using the money to invest in other local job generating infrastructure,” Ms Hill said.

“We’ve got the $225 million three-point water security solution underway with contracts awarded, and I am about to hand down Council’s budget which will have a key focus on infrastructure and creating jobs.

“Like many people in the community, I want Adani to start their operations as soon as possible but we can’t wait forever.

“The Budget is coming up in just over a week’s time and there are a huge amount of local projects – such as Townsville 2020 and the lithium-ion battery plant – Council is supporting.

“I’ve made it clear to Adani, that should the company secure finance and is ready to start mining then Council will be back at the table to ensure those FIFO jobs remain in Townsville.”

The joint-venture deal with Rockhampton Regional Council, included funding to build an airstrip for FIFO workers travelling to and from Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. The deal guaranteed FIFO jobs for Townsville residents and further jobs during construction of the airstrip.

The terms of the deal expire at the end of June 2018, and Council has decided to prioritise local projects such as a battery plant and building a new water pipeline to guarantee the city’s long-term water security.

Ms Hill said all councillors are committed to creating as many jobs for locals as possible and will re-examine the deal when Adani secures financial close and the project is ready to start.

“Council is doing everything it can to create jobs for locals, whether it’s attracting the lithium-ion battery plant to our city or ensuring tailoring work packages on the new water pipeline to ensure local businesses win a slice of the work,” Ms Hill said.

“There’s no doubt our community wants well-paying secure jobs that the Carmichael mine would deliver and Council will continue to fight hard to ensure those jobs come to Townsville when the mine is ready to start operating.

“While Adani works to progress its mining operations, Council is getting on with the job and is totally focused on creating new jobs for locals.”

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