Bowen Chamber of Commerce president Bruce Hedditch.
Bowen Chamber of Commerce president Bruce Hedditch. Cameron Laird

Bowen business leaders optimistic about Adani

BUSINESS leaders have praised the approval of the Adani mine, with the reaction to the controversial news being largely positive received by the local community.

The mine and its approval has been a hot point of conversation for the past decade, as Adani struggled through legal hurdles for its final approval.

Through its approval process the mine has had a number of vocal supporters in the community who have slated the mine as a possible economic renewal for North Queensland.

Bowen Chamber of Commerce chairman Bruce Hedditch is one of the supporters and said he was delighted by the approval of the mine.

"It's been nine long years of waiting for this mine to be approved and I'm delighted to see it finally approved," Mr Hedditch said.

"By it being approved, I think it will begin to give an air of confidence to the local community and the businesses in the area. We have suffered with the war against coal in the area, and I think there has been some fear to invest if they know it will be difficult. This should hopefully help that interest rise again."

A recurring discussion has been the possibility of a 'flow-on effect', whereby jobs created by the mine will be able to flow into the local community, providing indirect jobs.

Mr Hedditch said the approval was likely to provide the flow-on effect to Bowen, with jobs from railway lines, coal ports and the mine bringing more people to the area.

"To bring people to Bowen they need to have jobs, and that's where the area is suffering at the moment," he said.

"If people move to the area for work, they bring the family with them. When their children go to school, this will increase demand for teachers. The families will spend in local businesses and restaurants, it all trickles in."

The belief in the concept of flow-on effects continued with Bowen Collinsville Enterprise (BCE) chairman Paul McLaughlin who said the start of large investments in the region such as Adani will hopefully help kickstart other infrastructure processes, such as Urannah Dam.

"The Bowen community has seen Adani have more starts than Phar Lap," Mr McLaughlin said.

"While the mine will create employment, it's the flow-on effects that we're looking towards at the BCE. Rail needs to be upgraded and maintained, Abbot Point will see more investment and the community will see that trickle down to local businesses."

He said BCE was supportive of any project that continued to support the community, and hoped it would bring more large scale projects.

"Hopefully it will also kickstart infrastructure such as Urannah Dam. The mine will need water and Urannah could play a part in that as well as continue to support agriculture and future proof the water supply," Mr McLaughlin said.

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