While supportive of Cr Sobhanian’s advocacy, deputy mayor Chris Trevor was reluctant to talk up a new industry coming to Gladstone. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer
While supportive of Cr Sobhanian’s advocacy, deputy mayor Chris Trevor was reluctant to talk up a new industry coming to Gladstone. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Taskforce to address council’s industry concerns

A TASKFORCE could be created with the aim to ensure the community's best interests are not forgotten if a new, major industry comes to Gladstone.

Gladstone regional councillor PJ Sobhanian spoke at the recent council meeting in support of attracting a hydrogen industry to the region.

Cr Sobhanian tabled a report about his recent visit to a Brisbane facility where he saw new CSIRO membrane technology, which makes the export and bulk transport of hydrogen energy more economical.

"CSIRO's Australian hydrogen is incredibly pure, which makes it very desirable for industrial and automotive use," Cr Sobhanian said.

While supportive of Cr Sobhanian's advocacy, deputy mayor Chris Trevor was reluctant to talk up a new industry coming to Gladstone.

Cr Trevor said every time an industry leaves the city, "locals are left to pick up the pieces".

"Eco-friendly fuel is likely to happen sooner rather than later," Cr Trevor said.

"At this stage, all roads are appearing to head to this significant industry in Gladstone."

He said there was a need for an in-house specialised unit to assess the impact a new industry would have on the community.

Cr Trevor said he did not want to see a repeat of the aftermath of the construction of the $70 billion Curtis Island LNG facilities.

"We need to have our own specialised in-house unit that is ready when the next major industry comes to town," he said.

Cr Sobhanian's report comes in the lead up to a hydrogen forum which will be held at the Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre on February 27.

The councillors unanimously voted that, as a matter of urgent business, council should explore the formation of a taskforce unit to identify economic, environmental, social, community and other impacts another industry could have on the region.