Mayor Brad Carter slams oversight of region.
Mayor Brad Carter slams oversight of region. File

Carter backs LGAQ in protest

MAYOR Brad Carter says he's pleased the Local Government Association of Queensland has refused to sign an agreement with the State Government and Queensland Resources Council because it excludes the Rockhampton region and others.

The Sustainable Resource Communities Policy, which seeks to improve the dialogue between mining companies and the communities in which they operate, also ignores Gladstone, Mackay and the Whitsundays.

"As the resource sector expands, so does population growth, which creates a positive boost to employment and strengthens the local economy.

"On the other hand, it can also place significant pressure on the environment, education, health services, affordable housing, community services, water quality, skills and labour and infrastructure," he said.

Cr Carter said the intention of the policy was to give affected councils a greater say in the way resources projects were handled.

"For some reason the government and resources council has excluded us even though in Rockhampton our region is split by a major coal transporting rail line and we are affected by mining discharges into our water supply.

"We are also seeing the impact of the resources boom on our rental accommodation and on our roads.

"The LGAQ is saying to the minister that it will not sign the agreement unless Rockhampton, Gladstone, Mackay and Whitsundays are included."

He said he was greatly encouraged that local councils in the coalfields had come out in support of Rockhampton and the others because they experienced significant impacts from mining.

Cr Carter, chairman of the Bowen Basin Council of Mayors, said he thought the government department involved was not in touch with reality.