OPENING: Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane, Burdekin MP Dale Last, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Isaac Mayor Anne Baker at the official opening of Byerwen mine.
OPENING: Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane, Burdekin MP Dale Last, Resources Minister Matt Canavan, Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and Isaac Mayor Anne Baker at the official opening of Byerwen mine.

‘No FIFO jobs here’: Byerwen mine promises jobs boost

THE official opening of the Byerwen coal mine in the Bowen Basin has been hailed as a win for jobs in central and north Queensland.

More than half of the 1000 people who have already worked on the construction of mine are from the Isaac, Whitsunday and Mackay regions, with 500 permanent jobs set to be secured for decades to come.

The mine was officially opened on Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Resources Minister Matt Canavan, who said the project had given fresh hope for small nearby communities like Collinsville and Glenden.

“No FIFO jobs here at this mine, so it’s great news for Central Queensland, in particular cities like Mackay which aren’t too far away,” Mr Canavan said.

“This means hope and future for Collinsville and Glenden because it gives an opportunity for people to have a job.

“It also spreads wider economic benefit to towns like Mackay.

“People do drive in and drive out from there and all the service businesses as well to service the trucks and other equipment, most of those are in Mackay as well.”

OPENING: Byerwen mine site in the Bowen Basin
OPENING: Byerwen mine site in the Bowen Basin

The opening of the mine was also welcomed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said the project was just the start of a pipeline of metallurgical coal projects now in the approvals process.

The Co-ordinator-General is progressing approvals on the $1 billion Olive Downs metallurgical coal mine, 40 kilometres southeast of Moranbah, that will support 1000 operational jobs and 500 construction jobs.

This will be joined by the $1 billion Winchester South coal project near Moranbah that will support another 950 jobs.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said every new mining job in Queensland led to at least another four jobs in associated industries.

“Almost half of the spend during construction was in Queensland and in operations, more than three quarters of the spend is in our state,” he said.

Tuesday’s opening of Byerwen mine went without disruption from extreme green activists who have hampered construction activity at Adani’s Carmichael mine.

Burdekin MP Dale Last said the protesters, who he described as “absolute ratbags”, were putting future regional jobs at risk.

“We desperately need those jobs, particularly here in Central Queensland, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to support these mining companies going forward,” Mr Last said.

Mr Canavan said those protesting against the coal industry lacked an understanding of what coal goes towards.

“You can’t have a modern world, you can’t live in a city, you can’t have renewable energy, you can’t drive a car, you can’t walk down the street without coal, and the best coal in the world comes here from Central Queensland,” he said.

The Byerwen mine is a joint venture between QCoal Group and JFE Steel and will produce up to 10 million tonnes of coking coal each year.



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