Mining Town Saved

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L-R: Isaac Regional Council Director of Planning, Environment and Community Services Dan Wagner, Councillor Gina Lacey, Mayor Anne Baker, Minister for Resources Scott Stewart, Deputy Mayor Kelly Vea Vea and long-term Glenden resident Milissa Phillips-Payne outside Queensland Parliament in Brisbane on 24 August 2023.

Pure people power has secured Glenden’s future after a fast-tracked piece of amended legislation passed in Queensland Parliament on August 24.

Mayor Anne Baker led a small contingent in Brisbane to witness the historic moment alongside long-term Glenden resident Milissa Phillips-Payne. 

“The future of Glenden has now been enshrined in law with the changes to the Mineral Resources Act ensuring that the community will continue to thrive,” Mayor Baker said.

“Minister Stewart was clear in his parliamentary address about the legislation that will see QCoal, Glencore, Council and State Government coming together over the next six months to finalise planning of the workforce integration.

“This precedent-setting legislation not only secures Glenden’s future but gives hope to all Queensland communities that host major resource projects, that the government has the desire and will to listen to regional communities.”

The Mineral Resources (Glenden) Act legislated the integration of 100 per cent of QCoal’s workforce within the town boundaries by 31 March 2029 in line with Glencore’s phased exit plan.

Jangga Operations Manager Irene Leard said the legislation cemented a bright future for Glenden.

“We are grateful we are part of a vibrant community who are willing to raise our voice as one,” Irene said.

Milissa Phillips-Payne, who has lived in Glenden since 1982, said it had been an emotional ride of uncertainty for a decade.

QATCF 12 Glenden 2
Long-term Glenden resident Milissa Phillips-Payne has lived the battle to save her town for six years alongside Isaac Regional Council.

“This is my home, our home, and after all the blood, sweat and tears, the government has listened and, in the process, saved towns like Glenden from facing a wrecking ball,” Milissa said.

Mayor Baker said more than a third of Queensland mayors and their local governments wrote to the Premier in support of protecting communities such as Glenden from extinction.

“Council would like to thank the Jangga Peoples, the Traditional Custodians of Glenden, the town residents for not giving up, our Council team, the 28 Mayors and communities across Queensland who backed us, Local Government Association of Queensland, Greater Whitsunday Communities and our Queensland Origin players,” Mayor Baker said.

“We also thank Resource Minister Scott Stewart, Treasurer Cameron Dick and the Palaszczuk Government for listening to mining regions and showing that they are willing to walk the walk when it comes to supporting Queenslanders.

“This is about more than politics. This is about people. And today, the people won.”

The Save Glenden campaign launched in June when Minister Stewart granted preliminary approval for QCoal to build a mining camp on its Byerwen lease, 20km away from the township of Glenden.

The Newlands Coal Mine is winding down after 40 years of operations in the area, and Glencore is obliged under the mining lease to return the land back to its original condition.

The campaign has generated a reach of nearly 2.5 million and attracted nearly 38,000 engagements through Council’s social media accounts. It has also reached national, state and local media through TV, radio, print media and online.

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