OPINION: Big Year for Coal

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It has been a big year for our entire resources industry and in particular for our coal mining sector.

There is clearly confidence in the industry with some major developments this year including Whitehaven Coal’s decision to buy BMA’s Blackwater and Daunia assets.

This is great news for the future of both of those miners and the workers at the two sites.

In a sign of more confidence and investment in the industry, in November, as the Resources Minister I approved the expansion of Anglo American’s Lake Lindsay mine in Bowen Basin.

The approval will extend the life of the mine and secure the long-term future of 500 good jobs.

When fully operational the expanded mine will produce 5.6 million tonnes of steel-making coal each year.

This approval again shows there is confidence from major mining companies that are investing in the future of Queensland’s resources industry into the future.

We need steel for construction, domestic appliances, automotive and mechanical equipment, and also for turbines to generate renewable energy on wind farms.

Across the entire mining industry exploration which is a key yardstick for confidence in the industry is at its highest level since 2015.

The latest numbers from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show exploration in the resources industry is at its highest point in almost eight years, reaching more than $770 million in the 12 months to June this year.

This is up 4.4 per cent from the previous year.

For coal it is up 15.2 per cent, year-on-year to $198 million, which is a great result for the industry.

QATCF 14 Minister 2

Our coal industry is hugely important for Queenslanders and supports thousands of direct and indirect jobs while also contributing to Queensland’s economy through the royalties it generates.

These royalties help pay for vital infrastructure like the Moranbah Hospital which is under construction in the heart of one of our biggest coal mining communities. They help pay for our police officers, doctors, nurses and teachers.

Our resources belong to all Queenslanders which is why our progressive coal royalties are so important so we can reinvest back into regional Queensland.

It’s our regional communities that are the backbone of the sector and Queensland, which is why I was proud to pass legislation to secure the future of Glenden in Central Queensland this year.

It means QCoal will need to progressively house its workers while on roster in the town of Glenden instead of exclusively at a mining camp on site but out of town.

This was called for by the community and will provide certainty to the community of Glenden.

What I would like to highlight as well is the work all industry stakeholders continue to do and must always do when it comes to mine safety.

My number one priority as the Minister for Resources is workers safety and we all have a responsibility when it comes to this.

The most important thing to come off any mine site is the workers.

We all must remain vigilant and ensure there are continual improvements when it comes to safety.

Scott Stewart MP

Queensland Minister for Resources

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