Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche will speak about the resources sector in Queensland at hte 2014 GEA Major Indsutry Conference. Photo Contributed
Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche will speak about the resources sector in Queensland at hte 2014 GEA Major Indsutry Conference. Photo Contributed Photo Contributed

Emerald mine jobs are real, GVK says

ACTIVISTS were intent on demonising the Galilee Basin's vast coal resources to the world and denying Central Queenslanders some 800 local jobs with GVK Hancock's mega mines, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche claimed.

Mr Roche said the green groups were stinging from a defeat following their failed campaign to have the Great Barrier Reef declared endangered by the World Heritage Committee.

However, he warned all players were caught in a very public battle of attrition.

"All these activists are not about saving farmers' land, protecting the water supply and saving the Great Barrier Reef. It's always been about stopping coal projects in Australia, particularly in Queensland," Mr Roche said.

"At the end of the day, if they are trying to save the world and have concerns about climate change, where is the sense in keeping the coal in the ground in Queensland only for it to be supplied from another country?

"These activists want to deny jobs for Central Queenslanders."

GVK Hancock external affairs general manager Josh Euler said the bus in, bus out jobs for Emerald and Barcaldine workers, revealed last week as the company confirmed a 70-80% FIFO component for its proposed Alpha, Alpha West and Kevin's Corner mines, were real and an integral part of ensuring local employment and participation in the project.

"At the end of the day, here are legal challenges delaying the project... a handful of anti-mining protesters using the courts to hold up these projects and delay jobs for the region," Mr Euler said.

"I understand the frustrations because thousands of jobs are going to be created with these projects and everyone is keen for things to progress but at the moment we are being held back and we cannot step outside the court processes.

"It would be great if the Environmental Defender's Office would do the right thing by Central Queenslanders and stop the legal challenges as this project will deliver jobs."

Mr Roche said, despite the loss of momentum on the GVK Hancock and Adani Galilee projects with the ongoing court challenges, the World Heritage decision, to be ratified later this month, had one significant outcome - to lessen the reputation risk to banks and lending institutions under attack for any funding affiliation with the mine proponents.

Queensland Senator Matt Canavan this week called for Greenpeace to lose its tax-deductible status.

Mr Roche agreed.

"These are organisations that take donations from well-meaning people and the condition is they are subsidised by the tax payer via their tax deductibility," Mr Roche said.

"Just to rub it in further, the bottom line is the demand (for coal) is there.

"It is a credit to companies like GVK and Adani that they are staying the course. I am confident these projects will see the light of day."

Greenpeace program director Emma Gibson said the organisation did not take money from governments or corporations to maintain its independence.

"We are proud of the work we do on behalf of millions of Australians worried about the damage caused to the environment and the power of the mining industry over the extreme wing of the LNP," Ms Gibson said.


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