Around 430 new direct jobs could be created on the Darling Downs in construction and operations with the Queensland Coordinator-General granting approval for the continuation of the New Acland Coal Mine near Oakey.
New Hope’s Managing Director Shane Stephan said the approval was important for the Darling Downs and for Queensland.
“The New Hope Group has worked very hard over an extended period, and has consulted widely with the local community, on a revised compromise plan for the continuation of the New Acland mine which addresses concerns over the previous proposal.
“The approval of the New Acland Stage 3 Project ensures that the current employment and economic benefits are not lost to the Darling Downs and that New Hope continues to be a major employer in the region.”
Mr Stephan said the majority of New Acland employees lived locally and spent their wages in their local communities.
“Stage 3 of the New Acland Project will now provide a further boost of $12 billion to the local, state and national economies over the life of the mine,” he said.
“The revised New Acland Project plan will extend the life of the current operation to about 2029, taking the number of full-time operational jobs to about 435, and creating another 260 jobs during the construction phase.
“The number of full-time contractors will increase to around 170 positions, and indirect jobs will grow by more than 1,500.
“New Hope intends to source new employees, where possible, from the local region.
“The continuation plan will also boost social benefits and economic activity in the area through direct and indirect employment, investment and business opportunities – acting as an ongoing spur to the Darling Downs economy.”
The project is now under consideration by the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt for approval under the EPBC Act.