New Bowen Basin coal mine to bring almost 1000 jobs
A $1 BILLION metallurgical coal mining project in the Bowen Basin is a step closer to being realised after being declared a coordinated project by Queensland's independent Coordinator-General.
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the proposed Winchester South facility near Moranbah would create an estimated 950 jobs, 500 during the construction phase and 450 once the mine is operational.
"The proponent will be looking to employ locals from our regional towns," the Assistant Minister for State Development said.
"This is good news for places like Moranbah, Dysart, Coppabella and Mackay and provides even more opportunities for regional Queensland.
"Project construction will support 500 jobs over two years, with 450 full-time jobs to be sustained once the mine is operational.
"This has the potential to be a huge win for our economy, and will create security for so many locals and their families."
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act would ensure central Queensland had maximum benefit from the project.
"The Act bans large resources projects from employing 100 per cent fly-in-fly-out workforces," he said. "This means regional Queensland will get the lion's share of jobs, while that economic ripple effect will create opportunities for local small-and-medium-sized businesses."
Federal Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan said the state government's announcement showed investment confidence in the region.
"Central Queensland's resources sector is strong and it's here to stay," Ms Hassan said.
"The direct jobs that will potentially be created by this project are significant, but it's also the positive effect it will have on industry supply chains that will deliver a vital economic boost to our regional communities."
Whitehaven Coal's Winchester South Coal Operations proposes an open cut metallurgical coal mine that will support the international steel-making industry.
The project would facilitate the extraction of up to eight million tonnes of product coal per annum for about 30 years.
The decision to declare Winchester South a coordinated project will help facilitate complex approvals as the project undergoes rigorous environmental, social and economic impact assessments.
Draft terms of reference will now be prepared by the Coordinator-General, who will then invite public comment on matters addressed in the environmental impact statement.
If approved, construction of the project is estimated to begin in 2021, with the first coal extraction proposed for 2023.