News

It doesn't get any bigger than this

Inspecting coal from the Alpha Coal Project Test Pit where the new mine will be located.
Inspecting coal from the Alpha Coal Project Test Pit where the new mine will be located. Patrick Hamilton

THE State Government on Tuesday approved the largest coal mine in Queensland's history, but questions remain how 3600 workers will be found to construct and operate the $6.4 billion project.

Owned in part by mining magnate Gina Rinehart and Indian multi-national GVK, the Alpha coal project was conditionally approved by the Coordinator-General.

Located about 460km west of Rockhampton in Central Queensland, the mine would be the first to exploit coal reserves in the state's massive Galilee Basin.

Proponent GVK plans to mine 30 million tonnes of coal over 30 years from the site, which would be transported by rail to Abbot Point and likely exported to India and China.

Queensland Mines Minister Jeff Seeney said the project would boost the state's economy by $1 billion a year, and $11 billion over three years of construction.

"Australia can expect an $80 billion dollar rise in exports over the life of the mine," he said.

The approval came days after a deal emerged between Ms Rinehart and the Federal Government to bring 1700 overseas workers to work on a Western Australian iron ore project.

The deal sparked outrage from within Labor ranks, and drew the ire of MPs and senators on the crossbenches.

In an effort to quell dissent from within party ranks, the Labor caucus on Tuesday launched a new sub-committee to analyse the currently confidential EMA process.

Queensland independent MP Bob Katter said the support from the two major parties was a "junta" arrangement trying to force out opposing views.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said GVK had not applied for an EMA for the project, he did not rule out the possibility of creating one.

He said the government's first priority was to employ Australians on the project, but that low unemployment rates in the neighbouring towns of Alpha and Emerald would pose challenges.

During question time on Monday Mr Ferguson said in last year's Budget the government had made it clear it was "open to doing these agreements on a variety of projects if they meet the conditions that we deem appropriate".

"This is the first of potentially a range of agreements, but people should remember first and foremost this is about creating jobs for Australians."

GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy said: "Our priority is offering locals and other Australians the opportunity to work on these projects.

"Last year, the Federal Government invited us and other major companies to look at EMAs, but we need to review them with contractors and will consider the issue over the next few months.

"We have not applied for EMAs, but with large numbers required for the construction phase, we see them as a good insurance."

Premier Campbell Newman told reporters in Brisbane it was important Queenslanders were employed at the mine.

"Unlike the Federal Government that rolled over last week on another project, we will be demanding answers to show that everything possible has been done to actually train and skill Queenslanders from anywhere in this state," he said.

"We want any Queenslander that wants a job there to be given the opportunity to go and work on this project first and foremost."

But Construction, Forestry, Mining and Electricians Union district president Stephen Smyth said he was not aware of any plans for overseas workers to be brought in for the project.

He said the EMA for Ms Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore mine was a disgraceful situation and if a similar agreement was drawn up for any Central Queensland operations he would be disgusted.

Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters said the project would have "devastating effects" for the Great Barrier Reef and Central Queensland communities.

"Queensland communities will suffer increased cost of living and infrastructure pressures from the influx of fly-in, fly-out workers likely for this mine - will Alpha go the way of Moranbah?

"And will Gina Rinehart now seek an Enterprise Migration Agreement for this mine to ship in overseas workers in preference to locals?"

 

ALPHA PAY RATES

  • $65,000 for trainees
  • $85,000 for administration staff
  • $110,000 for university graduates
  • $150,000 for supervisors
  • $185,000 for senior professionals
  • $360,000 for senior site executives

Source: Rates proposed in Alpha Project EIS

Topics:  coal mine galilee basin mining industry queensland government



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

CFMEU official under fire for corporate spending

CFMEU Mackay district president Stephen Smyth at a rally.

Claims local official "racked up thousands" on corporate credit card

Teenager's 'heart break' after car destroyed by vandals

SHOCK DISCOVERY: Caillin Harper was devastated to discover his vehicle had been vandalised after it broke down on Stoney Creek Rd, Byfield.

PHOTOS: Vehicle raided, wrecked from inside out on Stoney Creek Rd

Local Partners

SHOALWATER: Protest efforts against land acquisition ramp up

PROTEST efforts to show the Federal Government the community is against the acquisition of land to expand a military training area in CQ are ramping up.


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

Excitement builds over Da Vinci exhibition

Da Vinci Machines is on display at Rockhampton Art Gallery from 18 March until 25 May.

Exhibition features in excess of 60 models of machines

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to events in CQ this weekend

Aussie Shakespeare is a frenetic and good-humoured canter combining classic Shakespearean stories and characters with Australian themes from cyclones to football to the revolving door of federal politics.

Everything you need to know about events in the region

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Suicide Squad director reveals his regrets about the film

Margot Robbie in a scene from the movie Suicide Squad.

DIRECTOR of superhero flick on what he’d change about ‘flawed’ film.

Meet the new Marco on MasterChef Australia: Yotam Ottolenghi

Israeli-born, London-based chef Yotam Ottolenghi will be a guest chef for a week on the 2017 season of MasterChef Australia.

AFTER Marco’s defection to Seven, MasterChef signs a true food hero.

Big Bang spin-off to be about kid Sheldon

Jim Parsons in a scene from the TV series The Big Bang Theory.

Actor Jim Parsons has dished on an upcoming Big Bang Theory spin-off

How Adam Brand’s Nashville dream fell apart

Country music singer Adam Brand talks about how heartbreak stopped him chasing his Nashville dream.

SINGER reveals how heartbreak stopped him from chasing his dream.

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

SHOALWATER: Protest efforts against land acquisition ramp up

Craig mustering cattle off the marine plain at their Marlborough property about and hour and a half north of Rockhampton

Online petition attracts loads of signatures, rally next week

Stockland's $150m pitch: Build it and they will come

Gladstone Marina. The Gladstone Regional Council offers a range of exciting job opportunities. Photo Contributed: Murray Ware.

Here's why we need to see Stockland upgrade start soon.

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!