Hundreds of people affected by a mining giant shutting down some fossil fuel production will no longer need to relocate.
The State Government recently decided QCoal should house employees at Glenden instead of an accommodation camp at the Byerwen Coal Mine, 140km west of Mackay.
Workers will temporarily stay at the camp until 2025, at which point staff members will progressively move to Glenden until 2029.
“This plan will mean QCoal can continue production at Byerwen knowing that their workforce has accommodation options but this also secures the long-term viability of Glenden, because QCoal will have to house their workers in the town,” State Resources Minister Scott Stewart said in a public statement.
This means the town’s 500 residents can remain despite Glencore closing its Newlands Coal Mine, 198km west of Mackay. Otherwise the settlement would have faced complete demolition, because the company owns most of the properties and subsidises local suppliers.
Isaac Regional Council thanked Stewart for acting and listening to the “voice of mining communities”.
“I have cried tears of relief,” mayor Anne Baker said according to News Limited.
“We are heartened by the speed at which this legislative change will occur.”
Glencore previously offered to transfer management rights to an anchor tenant who agrees to take over responsibility.
“Glencore would welcome an agreement between QCoal and the Queensland Government, which would see the community of Glenden continue,” a spokesperson said according to the media outlet.