Sarah Tincknell, Maceon Cooper and Dave Atkin from Origin APLNG, shake hands with Councillor David Schefe, MRC Deputy CEO Rob Hayward and Sharon Frank.
Sarah Tincknell, Maceon Cooper and Dave Atkin from Origin APLNG, shake hands with Councillor David Schefe, MRC Deputy CEO Rob Hayward and Sharon Frank.

MAJOR DEAL: FIFO workers out of camps into homes

A LANDMARK deal inked between Maranoa council and APLNG will see fly-in fly-out workers transition to residents, tipped to create an annual $10 million windfall for the local economy.

Months of negotiations about the continued existence of APLNG's camps at Reedy Creek and Bungaroo came to a head this week, with the council securing an agreement for a number of the gas company's production workers to become residents.

It will also provide incentives to encourage workers to become residents, encourage more short-term stays with local accommodation providers, and ensure flexible working arrangements to encourage a residential lifestyle.

The agreement is the first of its kind for the region, and Maranoa councillor David Schefe said it marked a pivitol turning point for the council's relationship with APLNG.

The agreement also stipulates workers are able to commute daily to work if they live within 45 minutes of their place of work, including residents of Wallumbilla and Yuleba if working at Reedy Creek.

Another benefit is set to be a financial contribution from APLNG until the agreed upon number of workers are converted to local residents, including community project funding for projects in Wallumbilla and Yuleba.

"The agreement finalised today will deliver to the region population growth, increased housing demand, and local business activity, with each new local household helping to generate another .3 of a job in our local economy," Cr Schefe said.

"Once all the agreed workers are transitioned to living locally, it is estimated that the Maranoa's economy will be boosted by $10 million each year.

"The additional funding during the transition process will enable us to improve our community's liveability and offset any impacts during the transition process.

"The short-term stay policy will help to increase patronage to our local accommodation providers, helping to boost their bottom line in the current difficult times.

"The agreement will deliver positive outcomes for many years."

For Origin APLNG's General Manager Spring Gully, Denison and Pipelines, Dave Atkin, the deal will allow his company to build a strong, collaborative partnership with council while supporting the community.

"The agreement includes new community investment funding of $2.5 million over the next two years," he said.

"Wallumbilla and Yuleba will be the focus of this funding, as they are the two closest towns to our Reedy Creek facilities. We remain committed to regional communities and supporting the outcomes of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities legislation," Mr Atkin said.

"The resources industry contributes significantly to the Gross Regional Product of $1.54 billion. We have increased existing regional and local procurement targets and have extended these requirements to our major contractors. This has resulted in $45 million being invested in goods and services provided by businesses in the Maranoa region over the last 12 months."

Minister for State Development, Cameron Dick, said it was a win for the region's economy.

"This is a win for the Maranoa region, which will soon have more residents contributing to the local economy," he said.

"The terms of the agreement will also enhance liveability and will go a long way to creating a stronger, and more sustainable community."