The Coordinator-General has approved a new Central Queensland mine project which is expected to generate hundreds of jobs for locals as well as for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers.
The approval is for BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s (BMA) Red Hill Mining project north of Moranbah, which involves construction of a new underground coal mine and expansion of the existing Broadmeadow and Goonyella-Riverside coal mines.
State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the Coordinator-General’s approval included detailed workforce conditions, which include:
- no 100% FIFO operational workforce;
- anyone must be able to apply for a job on the project, regardless of where they live;
- detailed and regular reporting on workforce composition and operations;
- an audit of existing housing capacity to be done before the project starts and best use made of existing capacity.
He said the BMA project would create 2000 construction jobs and 1500 operational jobs at peak production while increasing coal output from about 18 million to up to 32.5 million tonnes a year.
“This development will provide a valuable job boost in Central Queensland regional communities and businesses, as well as the rest of the state.”
Mr Lynham also added that the Coordinator-General would review the conditions following the completion of the government reviews into FIFO to “ensure that those findings were taken into account”.
“An independent panel is looking into the impact of Queensland’s existing 100% FIFO mines near regional communities, while a separate parliamentary inquiry is inquiring into FIFO and other long distance commuting practices across regional Queensland,” the Minister said.
Dr Lynham said the next step of the development phase for BMA’s mine project was applying for environmental and mining approvals.
“The proposal now enters the next stage, which involves environmental authorities, public consultation, and potentially Land Court hearings,” he said.
“This is very clear evidence that we are getting on with the job of delivering infrastructure and creating more jobs for Queenslanders, but in the process getting the balance between economic, environmental and social factors right.”