Henry Sapiecha on his land at Howard.
Henry Sapiecha on his land at Howard. Alistair Brightman

Mining boom boosts Howard

A RESURGENT mining boom on the Fraser Coast may be in its infancy but that is not stopping Henry Sapiecha from plotting a Burrum revolution.

Howard is close to Henry’s heart and as the publicity officer of the Burrum and District Chamber of Commerce, he believes that striking before the coal is out of the ground – let alone hot – is paramount for the little town.

“I’m working out a way to reinvent Howard,” Mr Sapiecha said.

“This is an area that should be going ahead. This is the start of a new beginning.

“This can be an important location for the industry during the upcoming decade.”

The Burrum chamber’s economic advisory committee hosted a meeting last week where a Mackay-based mining expert presented an idea of what would be required if mining corporations Santos and Northern Energy get the go-ahead in this region.

“He was talking about thousands of jobs,” Mr Sapiecha said.

“He is into training people for the mines so as not to suck the talent out of the community.

“He spoke about feeling out the community, getting the mining people what they want without disrupting the local community.

“This is about getting apprentices trained and knowing about the mining industry.”

Mr Sapiecha is determined for his town to reap the benefits and is proposing to develop a parcel of land near the Howard railway line into a custom-built trade centre.

His company, Wide Bay District Developments, and Semfield, owned by John Turnbull, own the adjoining sites.

“All areas of the Fraser Coast will benefit. All areas will get work and will interact with the industry in some way.

“But I’m biased; I want this area to be its base.

“This industry will need to be serviced and supported.”

He has set up Fraser Coast Trades and Service Centre at Howard which – aligned with nearby rail and highway infrastructure – can make Howard the hub of a mining boom.

“I want this area to interact with them as quickly as possible.

“They will still utilise services in the whole region but will need a more immediate back-up to service their requirements.

“We want to make it harder for these people not to use this place as a centre.”

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