As it was then – and as far back as 2008 the Central Queensland University has documented in reports for Government on the housing needs for the Bowen basin Mining Industry (for that matter generic mining).
There were rents in key Bowen Basin centres such as Emerald and Moranbah being as high as $700 (which later rose to $3000) per week respectively for a four bedroom house.
In 2006, the cost of housing in Moranbah was about 100% more expensive than Brisbane. In 2012, it's been reported that renting a house is $3000 a week. The question - who could afford this – its was the mining industry in the boom.
The ABC Television 4Corners program (Monday 28 May 2012) on this very issue, showed housing development for single person quarters by buying up and demolishing family homes in these mining communities. One statistic shown was that 80 families had left Moranbah in that past 12 month period.
Moreover the fly-in fly-out accommodation in large community style housing situations created immediate dramas for these mining areas and domestic uncertainty in the community. The fly-in fly-out situation became a migration issue associated with new Pilbara mining opportunities by flying in migrant workers as so many Australians are unwilling to work in such distant locations regardless of the money.
Between Perth and Bunbury huge new housing developments grew up for the fly-in and fly-in mining community where those who work in the mines house their families in in the suburbia of the city of Perth where their partners and children might enjoy the conveniences and educational opportunities of a larger community. We were visiting Western Australia in 2010 and saw this happening.
At that time, despite an unemployment rate of 3.8 per cent and with up to 89,000 mining and construction positions needing to be filled, the West was struggling to entice people from the Eastern States. Herein lies the issue of perception of community as six years ago 'Atlas Iron' boss speaking in Melbourne, said some people were simply unwilling to take on work that was readily on offer.
Mines west of Bowen, North Queensland
Collinsville is located in the northern part of the Bowen Basin, and as the crow flies, directly west of Proserpine. We know people who live at Airlie Beach, Hydeaway Bay, Midge Point and Laguna Quays (Whitsundays) who do their "days" at the mine and then come for their "days off".
In those heady years billionaire mine owners have been seen at the "Laguna Quays Resort" checking out the possibility for housing, in their desperate need for the housing of families.
Moreover the Alpha coal project - owned by India's GVK and billionaire Gina Rinehart - has been granted approval by Queensland's Co-ordinator-General, in a significant step forward for the planned $6.4 billion Galilee Basin enterprise. It will be Australia's largest coal mine with a proposed 500km rail line to Abbot Point near Bowen.
Housing families became critical issues. It means a whole lot more housing.
Herein is the crucial issue
Men or women, for their own well-being and person-hood, need their partners and children nearby, even if that means, a few days away at a time, and a three hour drive home. Spouses (partners) and families civilise the community and too many of one (male or female) creates unhealthy and unwelcome situations. Recent history reveals how traumatic it can become.
Male miners en-mass entering a settled community are like a conquering army that has been denied the delights of the pleasures of having their partner on tap. This is a huge perennial issue and certain illegal practices may be ignored by the authorities, for otherwise the consequences might be horrendous for the settled community.
I know of one developer at 'Midge Point' who has been attempting to provide some respite to this situation by providing reasonably priced housing for a three bedroom home on a house block, specifically catering for the mining family industry.
This developer saw the ever expanding mines as a draw card for families wanting minimal community living (away from the cities and large regional centres) but within reach of supermarkets and convenience stores.
The Whitsundays airport is 15 minutes away, Proserpine is a 20 minute drive, Cannonvale's large supermarkets another 12 minute drive, whereas south to Mackay is a one hour drive. These drive-time allotments are about the same time it takes to go from Sydney's outer suburbs to Sydney airport or the city's CBD.
Vision is part of being 'coastal and affordable'
There is 4G on-line access as well as NBN internet access as many professional people today can work from their home office. There is a local school, SES, Bush Fire Brigade, a community tavern with published culinary acclaim, various community groups; and there is a good school bus services for high schoolers. The Whitsundays (Proserpine) airport is 20 minutes away.
A sea change can mean - "coastal and affordable" - if people have the capacity to vision what may be, or have the type of work that can be activated by the Internet, or willing to make something out of the multiple-hundreds of thousands of dollars they save from not buying in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne or the larger regional centres.
It is certainly the ideal location for our Well-Being Australia missionary respite facility, we've enjoyed a steady stream of missionaries and mission people taking their own 'time-out at Laguna Quays – Midge Point:
Dr Mark Tronson - a 4 min video
Chairman – Well-Being Australia
Baptist Minister 44 years
- 1984 - Australian cricket team chaplain 17 years (Ret)
- 2001 - Life After Cricket (18 years Ret)
- 2009 - Olympic Ministry Medal – presented by Carl Lewis
- 2019 - The Gutenberg - (ARPA Christian Media premier award)
Gutenberg video - 2min 14sec
Married to Delma for 44 years with 4 children and 5 grand children