New 404-room accommodation centre threatens NQ town’s economy

Nov 3, 2022

New 404-room accommodation centre threatens NQ town’s economy

Nov 3, 2022

KENNEDY MP Bob Katter says while he welcomes accommodation solutions and business initiatives in Charters Towers, the town holds economic fears for a planned new 404-room non-resident accommodation development.

A development application awaiting Charters Towers Regional Council consideration for the construction of 404 rooms at 82-92 Deanes Rd, Millchester has raised concerns among local business owners.

According to application documents lodged with the local government, the demand for the facility was realised due to the expansion of nearby mines including Carmichael and Ravenswood mines.

The documents stated the development would be made of 101 demountable buildings and would provide “temporary accommodation opportunities” for various industries and worksites in the local government’s area and adjacent localities.

“The development will free up the local motel and hotel accommodations for use by the normal visitor traffic to town (tourists, business trips, family from elsewhere visiting, etc). This will ensure economical balance in the town is maintained,” the application read.

Mr Katter said the proposal was concerning for local accommodation and meal providers and he would be seeking further assurances the benefits of the development would truly flow to the town.

“The people initiating this proposal are doing so with the best of intentions, and we love business initiative – get up and go people,” Mr Katter said.

“But they must ensure their plans are for the benefit for the town.”

Mr Katter said it was concerning the language used in the application leaned towards the construction of a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining camp.

“Mining camps have proven very damaging in other towns, they’ve overtaxed the town’s infrastructure – roads, water, sewerage. They use catering companies from down south.”

Mr Katter said there was no reason the accommodation development couldn’t be a more permanent structure that serves as more traditional housing, which would lend the residents to reside and contribute to the local economy.

“People in the cities are travelling on average over 50km to work every day. We don’t want FIFO – it destroys family life.

“Whilst we applaud people wanting to put accommodation in Charters Towers, unless we’re assured the benefits will flow locally, we’ll oppose the construction,” he said.