Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry

THE benefits to regional Queensland of a thriving, properly regulated coal industry were on show this week with the approval of mining leases for Pembroke Resources’ $1 billion Olive Downs project and progress on the construction of Adani’s Carmichael coal project.
Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry Qld to receive the bounty of a healthy coal industry

Real mining jobs are more beneficial to the next generation that empty anti-coal slogans.

Despite the naysayers and protestors, coal projects such as these deliver real benefits to the population.

And this was done by adhering to a rules-based system.

Meanwhile, Canadian national Michael Kyneston was fined $1500 after pleading guilty to physical assault occasioning bodily harm during a protest organised and publicised by Frontline Action on Coal at the Carmichael rail construction site.

Regional Queenslanders who work in the resources sector have had years of environmentalists disparaging the sector and its workers, as well as years of pronouncing the death of coal and death of coal mining jobs.

Take Adani for example, which has been considered a dirty word in Sydney and Melbourne for the past four years.

Its Carmichael coal mine and rail project has employed more than 1500 people and awarded more than $1.5 billion in contracts - defying the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adani Mining CEO John Boshoff said he had proven the project's many opponents wrong.

"The Stop Adani movement said our project would never go ahead and would never create a single job," he said.

Boshoff said because Adani worked with smaller, private, and Queensland-based contractors and suppliers it had been able to keep working through the COVID-19 pandemic with appropriate measures in place.

"More than 88% of our contracts are being delivered in Queensland and have been spread across all corners of the state to give as many regions as possible the opportunity to benefit from our project, while also enabling us to tap into the highly-skilled construction and resources industry workforce that Queensland possesses," he said.

Regional Queensland's future is looking brighter by the day with these projects in the pipeline.

The Olive Downs project will begin construction in 2021 and create about 1000 jobs - 500 construction, 500 operating phase - in the Central Queensland region.

It is expected to contribute about $8 billion to the local economy and more than $10 billion to state revenues over its 79-year lifespan.

Resources minister Keith Pitt believes Queensland Labor is failing to grasp the benefits to employment and skills of a healthy coal mining industry.    

"Labor remains the party that has told miners they will have to ‘re-skill' and ‘transition' and Queenslanders won't be tricked into believing that Labor has suddenly seen the light on the resources sector," he said.

"I call on the Queensland government to now also offer real tangible support for the mining industry and also approve the New Acland mine on the Darling Downs."

Hogsback reckons regional communities and especially young people in these communities will continue to have employment and apprentice opportunities and avenues to learn skills and broaden existing skill sets.

This is more beneficial to the next generation than empty anti-coal slogans.