Firms to cash in with register
CHARTER airline companies have called for a central register of Fraser Coast mine and resource sector workers.
Seair and Advance Aviation are ready to fly to any mine site in Queensland, but say they are hampered by a lack of direct contacts in Queensland's rapidly expanding resource sector.
Operators say the register is a necessity if they are to be able to offer cheap airfares to service the mining industry..
The success of a fly-in fly-out model depends on mine workers being able to group together so they can charter a plane economically.
"We have eight-seater planes that we can run to anywhere, but we need to be able to get in contact with the workers so they can organise a charter between themselves," Advance Aviation boss Alex Mercer said.
"For example, we can take off from Hervey Bay, stop in Maryborough and Bundaberg and then fly on.
"With a full plane you could probably go from the mine in Emerald to your front door in Hervey Bay or Maryborough for about $350 and it would take an hour and a half.
"If you have to hub through Brisbane it will take you the best part of a day."
He said individual seats could not be sold for charter flights like commercial airlines.
The Queensland Resource Council says there are 845 resource sector workers living on the Fraser Coast but working outside the region.
Lawrence Consulting, in a report for Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett, estimates the total direct stimulus to the region at $38 million.
"We are currently developing a workforce strategy for the region and part of that is identifying workers in the resource sector who travel out of the region," Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett economic co-ordinator Jared Moriarty said.
"We have to work out what will attract people to register with us so we can capture as many people as possible."