Call to boost Tweed jobs after Adani backflip
WITH the decision to allow companies contracted with Indian mining giant Adani now resolved, a renewed focus from one councillor on jobs has sparked an initiative of transparency.
Labor councillor Reece Byrnes will ask his fellow councillors to support his motion to establish a register of companies contracted to do large-scale jobs in the Tweed.
Cr Byrnes wants organisations who are undertaking a project worth more than $50 million, to have to publicly state which companies have been employed.
The former deputy mayor said he believes this initiative will be an incentive far large organisations to employ Tweed-based contractors to complete work.
"It makes sense for the council to adopt this register so for all large scale projects, the (organisations) will be required to report to the community how many locals are truly employed," Cr Byrnes said.
"It is good news for the organisations when they hire locals, and it gives them an incentive rather than mandating it."
The register initiative comes just a week after the council rescinded its hard-line stance on companies associated with Adani.
Cr Byrnes was the deciding vote, having backflipped on the decision he supported in 2018, to side with councillors James Owen, Warren Polglase and Pryce Allsop.
He said the context around the issue has changed from when he originally supported the Adani-ban, and believed a focus on building the Tweed economy should be the focus.
"There were a lot of people out there, me included, who were not supportive of the mine going ahead," Cr Byrnes said.
"The federal and Queensland state government are approving it so that is why I took the view that we cannot constrain ourselves."
When asked if he believed the council would again consider such a bold decision, Cr Byrnes said the council would have to take the most recent rescission into consideration before ever opting to ban companies from working on council projects because of their employment history.
"I think council could always be more business friendly and have a larger priority on jobs," he said.
"Businesses need workers and workers need jobs.
"It all goes hand-in-hand and at the end of the day it is good for the economy and good for the shire."