Some days I wonder why I put my hand up for a job that typically sees me away from my wife and 5 kids for more than 200 nights a year. Then there are other days when I remember why it is all worthwhile.
Last week I had the privilege of travelling to the Adani Carmichael mine.
This was my third visit to the site and previously I was always struck by it being in the middle of nowhere. You can draw a circle, of 150 kilometres in radius, around Carmichael and you won't encompass a single substantial town.
Now it is a hive of activity. The camp is full - a bed had to be freed up to house a young pilot who arrived at the same time we did. The mine pit is now 25 metres deep and with only another 30 metres to go, first coal should be hit around mid year.
I meet Ferg whose concrete company at Capella has 12 blokes on the site constructing massive big valves to funnel coal into the trains. He has never worked on a job this big and the project will make his company more experienced not just more solvent.
A Mackay based company is ramping up on the preparation plants, massive big factories that crush and wash the coal before it is shipped out. Altogether there are 2000 people working on the mine, almost all of them from Central and North Queensland. That's 2000 families in which someone has a job thanks to Adani finally getting off the ground.
Don't believe what you read on social media, I did not see a single robot truck (all of Adani's trucks are manned) nor an Indian worker on site. In Australia, Adani does not employ anyone on visas.
The first coal should be shipped to India within two years of construction starting. There are still 300 million people in India without access to electricity and this coal will help them get the basic necessities that we take for granted.
It took 10 years to approve Adani's paperwork and just two years to build the whole thing. We have to get rid of the bureaucracy and regulation that holds us back as a nation.
As I fly out I get a great view of the railway line, 200 kilometres long, snaking its way across a distant and undeveloped plain. Once completed this line will open up the first coal basin in Australia for 50 years. It will help other mining, gas and agricultural opportunities get going in an area that has previously been undeveloped.
There are five other proposed mines in the Galilee and altogether 16,000 coal jobs could be created from the Galilee coal basin.
I fly back to Emerald. Before the Bowen coal basin was opened up Emerald was barely a town. Now it is a growing city thanks to the mines that were opened in the 1960s and the Fairbairn dam built in the 1970s.
We live in a great country with so much potential. Sometimes you wonder why it takes so much effort to just do simple things. But then when you see them happen and it encourages you to just fight that much harder to do more.