COSTLY PROJECT: Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler. cont
COSTLY PROJECT: Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Rob Chandler. cont

New coal mine needs infrastructure

THE State Government Coordinator-General has declared a mine and rail project planned for the Galilee Basin a significant project.

Indian company Adani Mining proposes to establish both a greenfield open-cut coal mine and an underground mine 260km north-west of Emerald.

The proposed $4.1 billion mines would be supported by $6 billion rail facilities leading to coal export terminals at Abbot Point, Hay Point or both, with the coal mainly servicing the Indian domestic power market.

Due to commence operation in 2014, the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project could employ 6000 people during construction and a permanent operational workforce of more than 5000 employees.

Premier Anna Bligh said the project would undergo a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement to assess possible environmental, economic and social impacts.

The proposed mine is the fifth project under consideration in the region, following projects including Hancock Prospecting’s $7.9 billion Alpha Coal project, Waratah Coal’s $7 billion Galilee Coal Project and AMCI and Bandanna Energy’s $1.5 billion South Galilee Coal project.

Barcaldine Regional Council mayor, Rob Chandler, said the influx of coal mine projects was a positive thing, as long there would be the infrastructure to support them.

“The cry for royalties for the regions is falling on deaf ears,” said Cr Chandler.

“We’ve got to keep up a strong voice to government. It’s down to State Government to ensure that the infrastructure - roads especially - is there to support the rapid mining development across the region.

“The decision makers – Local Government, State and Federal governments, and the mining companies need to sit down now and identify the infrastructure that needs to be built and who’s going to pay for it.”

With many of the project proposals including Carmichael due to be operational by 2014, Cr Chandler said all parties involved needed to act fast.

“Although some of the company timelines seem a little ambitious, at this stage Alpha has not enough power and not enough sewerage to cater for the increase in growth and yet still we haven’t sat round a table collectively to sort something out,” he said.

“There’s 140km of dirt track between Alpha and Clermont that needs to be surfaced and that job needs to start tomorrow.”

Cr Chandler said some of the money from resource industry royalties needed to come back to resource towns impacted by the mining developments.

“You can’t lump everything on to the mining companies - $3 or $4 million comes from the resource industry to government every year in royalties and taxes. All we want is a slice of the pie,” he said.

“It’s very, very easy and inexpensive to make sure those small communities in the Galilee Basin have the soft infrastructure- health services, education service etc and the hard infrastructure that they need to carry on.”

Ms Bligh yesterday announced CoalPlan 2030 which will chart the course of Queensland’s coal mining infrastructure over the next two decades.

“Infrastructure growth is an essential component of economic growth,” said Premier Anna Bligh.

“Coal Plan 2030 identifies infrastructure requirements in Queensland over a 20 year period.

“This will help drive growth over the medium to long-term.”

“There’s 140km of dirt track between Alpha and Clermont that needs to be surfaced and that job needs to start tomorrow.” Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor, Rob Chandler

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