WITH the Cloncurry Shire looking at a period of industrial and economic growth for the first time in many years, Mayor Andrew Daniels is afraid it may all come unstuck because of government decisions that have serious repercussions on this North-West Queensland shire.
Cr Daniels said the consequences of the decision by federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig to place a temporary ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011 had caused a disastrous downturn in the movement of cattle through the Cloncurry saleyards.
The saleyards represent a major slice of the Cloncurry economy.
Cr Daniels said the time between when the ban was imposed and now meant that up to 250,000 cattle were ready to hit the meatworks market and there was no way the meatworks would need that many cattle.
“It’s going to be a disaster and we only have Joe Ludwig to thank for it,” Mr Daniels said.
Housing construction in this western township continues to surge with another 20 houses presently under construction.
Construction of the load-out facility – a joint venture between Xstrata, Cudeco and MMG mining companies – remains on track as does the new industrial estate.
Last year’s hopes for a meatworks to be built have been put on hold until the AACo meatworks south of Darwin are in production.
“We’ll just see how the beef industry goes when Darwin is operational before we proceed any further,” Cr Daniels said.
This vibrant North-Western township saw a surge in development during 2012 with 300-bed camp built at the Oasis Caravan Park, a $11 million Community centre housing a conference centre, art gallery, library and function facility. There were also new shire council offices constructed along with a $6.5 million aged care facility.
With the town about to experience a sizeable growth in population due to several new mining projects planned for the shire, recreation had to come into the equation, and to that end the Cloncurry Council is constructing
an equestrian centre.
But on the downside, Cloncurry has recently taken a big hit with an 80 per cent across the board in the cost of electricity.
Mayor Daniels said he would like to “thank Campbell Newman for that” but would he mind “using the other end of the pineapple” next time he wants to stifle development in the north-west.
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