MACKAY workers could be flying in and out of Adani's Carmichael coal mine as part of a Mackay Airport plan being backed by Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen.
Mr Christensen said the mine - which has to be a fly in, fly out mine because it is located almost 500 km away from Mackay, which is the nearest major regional centre to the mine - was an opportunity the region should be seizing for its employment and economic benefits.
"Adani CEO Jeyakumar Janakaraj has flagged that workers could be sourced out of the Mackay region, depending on the available local talent and merit, and the reality is we have talent and merit in spades when it comes to expertise in the coal mining sector," Mr Christensen said.
BACKGROUND STORY >> No option but 100% FIFO, Adani's CEO says
"Our region has the capability to supply a qualified FIFO workforce for the Adani mine, and we have all the expert mining support services here for them as well, so Mackay has the lead on becoming the FIFO hub and the service centre for the Galilee Basin.
Mr Christensen said Adani had also publicly committed to employment of Australians on the project.
"Talk of flying in and flying out an Indian workforce is just counterproductive scaremongering," he said.
"There are laws surrounding employment of overseas workers and to get even a single 457 visa the company would have to show there is a shortage of available workers and that simply isn't the case."
UNION NOT HAPPY >> CFMEU hits out at Adani's CEO's '100% FIFO' comments
Adani executives have now named a start date for the Carmichael coal mine project, with off-site works to begin in September.
Mr Christensen said having a date was a real confidence boost because the economy was depressed and could really use a boost in employment.
"There is a very good opportunity for regional centres like Mackay and also Rockhampton and Townsville in all aspects of this project, including construction of the mine site itself, the rail line, and also the port," he said.
Mr Christensen said Mr Janakaraj's visit to Mackay and announcement of a starting date for the project was good news for Mackay.
Do you think Carmichael Coal Mine should be 100% FIFO?
This poll ended on 29 May 2015.
No way, are you crazy?
Yes, there is no other choice!
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.