BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance’s Red Hill Mining project, near Moranbah, will need to make hundreds of jobs available for locals as well as fly-in, fly-out workers under a new independent approval.
The Coordinator General has approved the project, which involves construction of a new underground coal mine and expansion of the existing Broadmeadow and Goonyella-Riverside coal mines.
The project will now move into environmental and mining approval processes.
State Development and Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the BMA proposal at peak production would create 2000 construction jobs and 1500 operational jobs and increase coal output from about 18 million to up to 32.5 million tonnes a year at the mining complex centred on Goonyella-Riverside.
“This development will provide a valuable job boost in Central Queensland regional communities and businesses, as well as the rest of the state,” he said.
“But it’s also critical that development takes into account the economic and social impact of 100 per cent FIFO on resource communities.
“The Coordinator General’s conditions represent a whole new approach to dealing with this workforce issue.”
The Coordinator General’s workforce requirements include:
– no 100 per cent FIFO operational workforce.
– anyone must be able to apply for a job on the project, regardless of where they live.
– detailed and regular reporting on workforce composition and operations.
– an audit of existing housing capacity to be done before the project starts and best use made of existing capacity.
Dr Lynham said the Coordinator-General would review the conditions following the completion of the government reviews into FIFO to ensure that those findings were taken into account.
An independent panel is looking into the impact of Queensland’s existing 100 per cent FIFO mines near regional communities, while a separate parliamentary inquiry is inquiring into FIFO and other long distance commuting practices across regional Queensland.
“The Coordinator General also found that BMA’s EIS addressed the predicted outcomes, and he has set conditions to avoid, mitigate or offset these impacts, including groundwater, ecology, surface water, land impacts, traffic and transport, noise and air quality,” Dr Lynham said.
“The proposal now enters the next stage, which involves environmental authorities, public consultation, and potentially Land Court hearings.
“This is very clear evidence that we are getting on with the job of delivering infrastructure and creating more jobs for Queenslanders, but in the process getting the balance between economic, environmental and social factors right.”