Council negotiating with gas giant over Maranoa camps
THE FUTURE of workers' camps is officially on the table, after Maranoa Regional Council met with delegates for Australia Pacific LNG for the first time in Roma.
Thursday marked the start of discussions which have been months in the making, and after the first of what will be many meetings, the groups put out a joint statement.
"Council & APLNG commenced discussions this week," the release read.
"The Office of the Coordinator General have confirmed that they will be attending as Observers.
"The meeting commenced with setting the terms of reference for negotiations, and building a deeper understanding of each parties' submissions to the Coordinator General.
"This provided the opportunity to ask questions and explore options for further discussion.
"Prior to the next meeting, each party will source additional information."
Why the negotiation?
The decision to hit the negotiation table came far earlier than today, and it followed APLNG's application to change a condition of their current projects just outside of Roma.
The company submitted a change application last year, when the 'temporary' status of their workers' camps was nearing its expiry date, and after some discussion with Maranoa Regional Couincil, went further with the application - all the way to the office of the Queensland Coordinator General.
The proposed change was to turn two sites of temporary accommodation into a permanent fixture for 20 years - the estimated duration of APLNG operations in the Maranoa.
Completing the circle, the QCG came back to council, asking its opinion, and Council was clear in their opposition to workers' camps being made permanent.
"Our submission to the CG outlined that we are willing to keep the camps for temporary workers, but we want the permanent production workers living in our region," Councillor David Schefe said.
Now, the change application is on hold so Council and Origin/APLNG can negotiate a solution.
"We're working with the Coordinator General and Council on approval for the future operation of two of our accommodation camps in the Maranoa region," said Dave Atkin, General Manager for Origin's Spring Gully and Denison Asset.