News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Rio Tinto warns ‘clock ticking’ on coal mine; Queensland approves 4000-well coal seam gas project; and AMMA hits out at biased, ‘union-affiliated’ Fair Work.

Lou Caruana

Rio Tinto warns ‘clock ticking’ on coal mine

Rio Tinto head of energy Harry Kenyon-Slaney has warned “the clock is ticking” on the approvals process for the controversial Mount Thorley Warkworth coal mine in NSW as producers slash costs to try to overcome weak prices and the strong dollar, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Kenyon-Slaney said the company was hoping the NSW government would consider Rio’s revised attempt to win approval “expeditiously” for the Hunter Valley project, where time is running short, before it would have to cut jobs.

Queensland approves 4000-well coal seam gas project

The Queensland government has given the green light for another 4000-well, multibillion-dollar coal seam gas project. But whether the gas would remain in the domestic market or be shipped off overseas remains up in the air, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The approval of the 40-year Bowen gas project by Arrow Energy, owned by oil giants Shell and PetroChina, comes just a day after Arrow said it had committed to starting initial engineering work for the venture, which has been downsized from the 6625 wells originally planned.

AMMA hits out at biased, ‘union-affiliated’ Fair Work

An employer lobby group has launched a stinging critique of the Fair Work Commission, accusing it of handing down “inconsistent findings” and “intruding into valid management ­decision making” because of alleged union sympathies, according to the Australian Financial Review.

In a report to members this week, the Australian Mines and Metals Association detailed the union affiliations of several Fair Work commissioners and commented negatively on their findings as part of its push to have a new appeals panel to sit over the commission.

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