A MORANBAH coal mine bought for $1 earlier this year will soon provide job opportunities for 150 local workers.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said she met with Isaac Plains coal mine owner Stanmore Coal on Tuesday when they announced a scheduled opening in February 2016.
While she would not say if the mine had totally ruled out all elements of a fly-in, fly-out workforce, she was given “absolute confidence local people will be able to apply and work there”.
“It’s going to be open to everyone,” Cr Baker said.
“They never mentioned FIFO. There are 150 positions and everyone is welcome to apply.”
The mayor hailed the project, 6km east of Moranbah, as a boost for industry, local workers and the community.
Moranbah Bakery owner Steve Hanvey said if local workers really were prioritised for the jobs the project would be a “beaut thing for the town”.
“My partner was doing deliveries the other day and at the petrol station she saw five families packed up to leave town,” Mr Hanvey said.
“We need support and we’ve had a lot of doom and gloom for a long time.
“I have all 10 of my fingers crossed and my arms crossed that these jobs will go ahead and there will be more to come.”
The Moranbah resident of 24 years said it wouldn’t just be the workers who benefited but the whole community.
The mine was open-cut and Cr Baker said “real time air quality monitoring” would be in place for Moranbah residents.
Stanmore Coal bought Isaac Plains Mine from Vale and Sumitomo in July for $1, more than a year after about 300 jobs were lost when production halted in 2014.
After a program of exploration and refurbishment, Stanmore Coal will begin mining activities following government approvals.