Wide Bay region could be Galilee coal’s fly-in fly-out hub
THE Wide Bay Burnett could soon be recognised as a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) hub once a multibillion-dollar mining project takes off about 400km west of Rockhampton.
Construction of the world's largest thermal coal operation in the Galilee Basin is expected to begin next year, creating about 4000 jobs during construction and a further 1800 during operation.
Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett chairman Grant McLean said Hervey Bay and Bundaberg were the two airports in the region capable of accommodating large aircraft to offer a FIFO service.
"I'd like to see the Wide Bay Burnett be a FIFO hub as I'm sure a number of regions in Queensland would want that for their communities," he said.
"We'd be reasonably well-placed for a flight to the Galilee for sure."
He said a FIFO service would address workers' driver fatigue and also allow them more time to spend with their families.
"Some people drive up to 10 hours to get to a project," he said.
Mr McLean said a memoranda of understanding had been signed with project leaders GVK Hancock about sourcing the workforce out of the Wide Bay Burnett region.
"We see this as a wonderful opportunity for our region," he said.