A north Queensland council has presented a list of demands to developers looking to start a bauxite mining venture, pitting five companies against each other for the right to dig near the Watson River.

The Aurukun Shire Council has the support of the Queensland State Government and the local community in its negotiations to develop the site on the Cape York Peninsula. Mayor Dereck Walpo is not holding the job to ransom, but says that the large figures being thrown around for the development are a chance to improve local infrastructure.  

The wish list includes construction of a high school, sporting grounds, community facilities and redevelopment of the airport.

He is taking a fairly hard line though, saying if the companies want to the right to extract his council’s resources they must invest strongly in the community. Mayor Walpo says; “They need to offer me a really good deal in benefit packages in how we can make this community great in regards to infrastructure.”