Whitehaven Coal’s planned new Winchester South coal mine will deliver hundreds of coal mining jobs and boost the central Queensland economy for decades, CFMEU Mining & Energy said today.
CFMEU Mining & Energy Queensland President Stephen Smyth welcomed the Queensland Government’s announcement the $1 billion project near Moranbah in the Bowen Basin would be declared a co-ordinated project, which means final approval will be fast-tracked.
“This announcement means the Winchester South Coal Operations proposal has passed the major hurdles. It is now in the hands of the Co-ordinator General to get the mine up and running.
“It is great news for Central Queensland mining towns. In addition to direct jobs building and operating the mine, local businesses will also benefit from the economic activity the new mine generates.
“This is a welcome indication of the Queensland Government’s commitment to local mining jobs and industry.”
The Winchester South proposal is for an open cut coal mine, producing predominantly metallurgical coal for steel-making. The project will generate approximately 500 jobs throughout the two-year construction period and up to 450 full-time jobs during operation.
Construction of the new coal mine is proposed to commence in 2021.
Mr Smyth said the CFMEU looked forward to working with Whitehaven Coal to make sure the jobs generated by the mine were permanent, secure and well-paid.
“I’m pleased that the Queensland Labor Government has stopped mining companies from operating 100% FIFO coal mines. This means jobs at Winchester South will go to regional communities.
“I’m looking forward to a federal Labor government stamping out the entrenched exploitation of casual labour hire workers in our industry, with ‘same job same pay’ for labour hire workers and casual conversion rights.
“Today’s announcement should give Central Queenslanders confidence in the future of the coal mining industry and the opportunities it can provide.”