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Rocky's golden ticket to 1500-job Adani FIFO hub revealed

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ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has scored better than Adani FIFO hub competitor Townsville, according to Queensland Audit Office's 2015-16 Local Government financial report.

When it comes to councils' ability to repay debt from operating revenue, Rockhampton was ranked low risk with a score of 38.48%.

Townsville Regional Council scored 88.98%, placing it in the highest risk category (above 80%).

According to the report, those financial markers rated high risk indicate "sustainability issues arising in the short- to medium-term if current operating income and expenditure policies continue", indicated by losses of over 10% of operating revenue.

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Late last year, Townsville and Rockhampton were both shortlisted as Fly-in Fly-out hubs for Adani's $22 billion Carmichael coal mine.

The FIFO hub is expected to generate up to 1500 jobs.

Rockhampton and Townsville were both recognised as generating operating surpluses regularly and given low risk ratings in that category.

However, Rockhampton's current operating surplus was 10.77%, while Townsville's was 2.01%.

Townsville was considered lower risk than Rockhampton when it came to the ratio of asset sustainability, with a 91.62% rating making that council more likely to be renewing assets as they reach the end of their useful lives.

Rockhampton was given a rating of 73.74%, marking "irregular spending or insufficient asset management practices, creating a backlog of maintenance/renewal work".

Rockhampton mayor Margaret Strelow said while council wasn't made of money, the figures recognised the hard work which had gone into the region's budget.

"We believe we're travelling fairly well, particularly when we compare ourselves with other major cities," she said.

Cr Strelow said a strong financial position had put Rockhampton in a good place to make a bid for Adani's business, which included the proposal to operate a second airport in the Galilee Basin.

"It was very gratifying to be able to commit to the money being available immediately within our own resources," she said.

"We're able to confidently go ahead and borrow to build the Carmichael airport if we need to, but we also have a good supply of cash at bank and we will make the choice should we be successful which way to go.

"We've worked hard and the community have worked along with us and taken some tough measures when we've had to."

Topics:  adani council jobs rockhampton rockhampton regional coucnil townsville townsville regional council


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