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



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

PHOTOS: Rocky ladies wow during big night on the town

L-R Ashleigh Swinson and Kaitlyn Kenny at the Ginger Mule.

All the action from Rocky's pubs and clubs over the weekend.

BREAKING: Bechtel worker's ATO challenge rejected

CASE REJECTED: The ATO advised Bechtel employees to resubmit their tax.

Tribunal hands down decision on Bechtel ATO dispute.

WATCH: 'Dry blood' on back door of dead CQ man's home

Michael Ceremuga

POLICE have revealed the identity of a dead man found in a CQ drain.

Local Partners

WATCH: Judah battles his emotions as he makes Top 12

Judah Kelly has made it through to the top 12 of Australia's The Voice competition.

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Maybe he just wanted to make himself the story.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

New $46.7m counter-terrorism facility to be built in Wacol

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured with Police Commisioner Ian Stewart, has announced plans to build a new counter-terrorism facility in Wacol.

The facility will be built over three years.

Home to a sex worker: Sordid history of iconic Coast shed

Milojevic Djordjevic's daughter Linda at the derelict shed on Yandina-Coolum Road.

The shed was once a liveable 'barrack'.

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Deluge brings massive price rise for property near Rocky

BIG BUY: The Howard family handed over Yaamba's historic Balmoral property to the Harvey family on Thursday.

DOWNPOUR'S perfect timing entices buyer to pay huge dollars.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!