News

Coal communities can handle mining upturn: professor

Demand for coal may be on the rise.
Demand for coal may be on the rise. Lee Constable

MINING communities will be better placed to deal with the predicted return to higher coal prices, a CQ University professor said.

Regional economic development professor John Rolfe said while the market wouldn't see a return to the record high enjoyed by large resource companies, prices would steadily increase.

"Prices at the moment are trending downwards but the companies are reporting an upturn in demand," Prof Rolfe said.

"There's also recovery in the Chinese demand, with anecdotal reports the manufacturing volumes are starting to increase.

"The Chinese government has announced its new leadership and there's hope that the leadership will start to stimulate the economy."

Those combined factors were the driving forces of the coal market, Prof Rolfe said. But he warned uncertainty remained about the European and American markets.

"In the Bowen Basin there is an increase in volume… there should be some growth in jobs again."

He said some of the 5000 jobs cut across Queensland in recent months had been absorbed by the burgeoning gas sector.

But as prices improved and the market stabilised, Prof Rolfe said some positions would re-emerge in the coal industry.

He said mining communities such as Blackwater would benefit from the focus on housing availability and affordability in the future, as markets picked up.

"I think the communities are actually pretty resilient," Prof Rolfe said.

"There has been a lot learned and if we do get another quick upturn, I still think there will be the same rush to develop."

But while market analysts predicted a return to high prices, Queensland Resources Council chief Michael Roche warned there could be more job cuts.

"Ongoing reviews will identify opportunities for savings throughout a mining company's operations."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Isaac wins national backing to end postcode discrimination

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker Photo Contributed

Isaac wins national backing to end postcode discrimination

Who you gonna call Central Highlands?

Scott Mason, CEO of Central Highlands Regional Council. Emerald. Photo Di Stanley / CQ News

Call 133 242 686 for all your council enquiries

Search for a star begins on the Highlands

Kaye, Chelsy, Angelie, Nikki and Kate of the Emerald Philipines Australian Association performed at the Central Highlands Multicultural Festival. Photo Amber Hooker / CQ News

2016 marks 12th annual Central Highlands Multicultural Festival

Latest deals and offers

BLACK LUNG: 55-year-old Bowen Basin miner diagnosed

Department of Natural Resources and Mines say it's the eighth case identified since May last year

Anything goes show promised for Emerald

Bryan Fletcher and Nathan Hindmarsh aka Fletch and Hindy.

Tickets running out the door to see Fletch and Hindy

Searching for stolen items

Police are asking anyone with information on the stolen trailer to contact them.

Anyone with information on stolen bikes and trailer to come forward.

Isaac wins national backing to end postcode discrimination

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker Photo Contributed

Isaac wins national backing to end postcode discrimination

Who you gonna call Central Highlands?

Scott Mason, CEO of Central Highlands Regional Council. Emerald. Photo Di Stanley / CQ News

Call 133 242 686 for all your council enquiries

Rio Tinto to pay $24,000 for refusing to pay sick leave

Rio Tinto’s Hail Creek Coal mine west of Mackay.

Rio Tinto has been ordered to pay $24,000 to the CFMEU.

Clive Palmer to re-open refinery

Clive Palmer on ABC radio.

Clive Palmer talks about his achievements, election chances and re-opening the...

Dash Cam of Slip in Snow

Even light snow can be hazardous.

Dash cam shows how easy it is to lose control in even light snow.

Chaos outside Istanbul Airport

Turkish police block the road after an suicide bomb attack at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, 28 June 2016. At least 10 people were killed in two separate explosions that hit Ataturk Airport.

Distress as cars escape Istanbul airport after bombing.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward