$1 billion Olive Downs project approval to create hundreds of local jobs

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General has approved the proposed $1 billion Olive Downs metallurgical coal mine, 40 kilometres south-east of Moranbah in the Bowen Basin, with strict conditions to ensure local employment and manage potential impacts on the environment.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement in Parliament today.

“The mine is expected to create 1000 operational jobs and 500 jobs during construction,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The project will contribute an estimated $8 billion to the local economy and more than $10 billion to the Queensland economy.

“My government has helped facilitate more than $20 billion in resources projects since January 2015.

“This has helped the Queensland economy continue to grow and it has helped contribute to the 192,000 jobs that have been created in Queensland since January 2015.”

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said metallurgical coal produced in the Bowen Basin is in high demand for use in steel production in Asia.

“The project will produce up to 15 million tonnes of metallurgical coal per year for export via the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal near Mackay,” he said.

Mr Dick said that the project maximises the use of existing road, rail, power and water infrastructure in Queensland’s most established coal region and would operate alongside 25 existing mines.

“The proposed project includes coal handling and crushing facilities at the mine’s Olive Downs South and Willunga precincts, a rail link to transport coal to the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal and a water pipeline and power transmission line,” he said.

Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said this was the first project that had completed a social impact assessment under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act as part of the environmental impact statement.

“It is also the first time that the Coordinator General has decided to include the construction phase as being captured by the SSRC Act, further adding to local benefits,” she said.

“The SSRC Act requires the proponent Pembroke Resources to encourage workers to live in local towns like Moranbah, Nebo, Dysart and Middlemount and reduce the reliance on fly-in, fly-out workers. Pembroke has committed to recruiting locals and people from other regions who might like to move to local towns.

“There will also be significant opportunities for local and regional suppliers, contractors, service providers and businesses.”

Mr Dick said the public was invited to have their say on the draft environmental impact statement for the project between September and October 2018 with 37 submissions received. The independent Coordinator-General considered all submissions in completing his evaluation of the project.

Subject to Commonwealth Government approval, Pembroke Resources expects to commence construction in 2020.

The evaluation report can be found here – http://dsdmip.qld.gov.au/olivedowns

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