MORE than 200 new jobs are set to be created in Central Queensland following a decision from Queensland's Coordinator-General that will ensure new infrastructure needed for a major mine expansion can be built.
The Coordinator-General's decision will allow the construction of a new rail load-out facility to support Cockatoo Coal's $313 million Baralaba Expansion project.
The project began in May and Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said today's decision smoothed the way for a major growth in coal output.
"The first part of the mine expansion will enable Cockatoo Coal to expand coal production from 700,000 tonnes a year to one million tonnes," Mr Seeney said.
"This will climb to 3.5 million tonnes per annum by 2015. We promised to grow the resource pillar of our economy and we are delivering on that promise creating more jobs for regional families."
The new train load out facility will be located three kilometres east of Moura on the southern side of the Dawson Highway, adjacent to the existing main rail line.
It will be built in compliance with conditions to protect the environment and nearby landholders.
"Mining has been an integral part of Baralaba since the early 1900s and Cockatoo Coal's expansion will help to deliver jobs and prosperity to the region for decades to come," Mr Seeney said.
Cockatoo Coal wrote to the Coordinator-General in June asking that he make an assessment under the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971 on conditions applied to the rail facility by the Banana Shire Council.
After a thorough assessment, the Coordinator-General has made amendments to ensure these conditions are reasonable and relevant.