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Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox has been given the green light to throw Bowen’s hat into the ring as an option for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine headquarters.
In general business at yesterday’s council meeting in Bowen, Cr Mike Brunker moved a motion that Mayor Willcox immediately contact Adani chiefs and offer a parcel of land on the Esplanade in Bowen, owned by council and of a suitable size to build their head office.
Cr Brunker’s motion also added that “this parcel of land be offered free of charge or via a peppercorn lease, whichever is required, and if successful an agreement be brought back to Council for ratification.
Mayor Willcox said with Bowen unemployment figures way above the state average and rental vacancies rising he owed it to the local community to add their name to the list of suitors for Adani’s base.
“We have Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton trying to get Adani to base themselves in their regions so we need to bring something out of the box to give ourselves a chance.
“I realise Adani have indicated they would only consider a major regional centre but our community is hurting so we owe it to them to give it our best shot to lure them to Bowen.”
Cr Brunker was also passionate that council needed to become a serious player to pitch for the Adani head office.
“Adani will be using our coal port facility so there’s no reason whatsoever that we couldn’t have the head office in Bowen.
“This gift of a 2.5 million dollar block of land should allow Adani to have a serious look at Bowen and tell us what critical infrastructure Mackay, Townsville or Rockhampton has that we don’t.
“We’ve got schools, airports, facilities and services here and I’m sure we’ll be able to accommodate Adani in Bowen.
“They’ll have a prime block of land in Bowen to build their office with and the dollars would stay in the town.”