Queensland police are urging motorists to exercise patience and restraint as major highways to central Queensland become clogged (main picture) with thousands of jobseekers making their way to the Adani Carmichael coal mine near Clermont.
The Bug understands the Bruce Highway between Gympie and Rockhampton is already heavily congested this morning, as are major arterial highways further west, including the Capricornia, Leichhardt, Dawson, Gregory, Burnett and D’Aguilar highways.
“It’s already a car park here,” said Sergeant Brad Thornley from Indigenous Female Indigenous Female (formerly Gin Gin) police.
“I really am pleading with motorists yet to undertake their journeys north from southern parts of Australia to please, please, consider postponing their trips.
“I’m no mine expert but I reckon just outside this town here I’ve seen far more people than the 50,000 to 70,000 workers needed for the mine’s construction phase.”
After the Queensland Government gave its final approval to the controversial mine yesterday, the massive convoys that began heading north had a carnival atmosphere for a while before frustration and anger kicked it.
Throughout yesterday afternoon jobseekers tooted their horns as they crossed the Queensland-New South Wales border on the Pacific Motorway where Queensland Premier Anna Palaszczuk waved them through with a hand-held sign declaring “JOBS FOR ALL”.
Further west on the New England Highway bypass at Stanthorpe, her deputy and Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad did the same as she stood proudly beside ALP roadside signs proclaiming “LABOR LOVES THE REGIONS!”
And the thousands streaming north have not just been would-be mineworkers seeking to set themselves and their families up for life.
The Bug estimates that one in every seven vehicles on the A3 at Nanango was filled with working girls, as one young woman, Tiffany Genders explained, “intent on doing a bit of drilling of our own, right girls!”
West of Bundaberg on the Bruce Highway at a complete standstill was a carload of brown-throated finches.
“They’re only distant relatives of ours but we though it would be nice to see the black-throated finches at the Carmichael mine site one last time,” Mr Finch said.