A NEW Central Queensland mine project will be allowed to employ fly-in, fly-out workers as well as locals under strict workforce requirements.
The Coordinator-General has approved BHP Mitsubishi Alliance’s Red Hill Mining project north of Moranbah.
Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the BMA proposal would create 2000 construction jobs and 1500 operational jobs at peak production.
The Coordinator-General’s requirements forbid a 100% FIFO workforce, stipulate people from all regions can apply for jobs and calls for detailed and regular reporting on workforce composition and operations, along with an audit of existing housing capacity.
BMA intended to use a 100% FIFO workforce for Red Hill, following a track laid by its Daunia and Caval Ridge mines.
An end to 100% FIFO workforces was signalled by the former LNP Government following an intense campaign by Australian Regional Media, the publisher of this website.
The project involves construction of a new underground coal mine and expansion of the existing Broadmeadow and Goonyella-Riverside coal mines.
Dr Lynham said it would increase coal output from about 18 million to up to 32.5 million tonnes a year at the mining complex centred on Goonyella-Riverside.
The approval comes as a Queensland parliamentary inquiry investigates FIFO and drive-in, drive-out practices in regional Queensland.
“This development will provide a valuable job boost in Central Queensland regional communities and businesses, as well as the rest of the state,” Dr Lynham said.
“But it’s also critical that development takes into account the economic and social impact of 100% FIFO on resource communities.
“The Coordinator-General’s conditions represent a whole new approach to dealing with this workforce issue.”
He said the Coordinator-General had found that BMA’s EIS addressed the predicted outcomes, and he has set conditions to avoid, mitigate or offset these impacts, including groundwater, ecology, surface water, land impacts, traffic and transport, noise and air quality.
“The proposal now enters the next stage, which involves environmental authorities, public consultation, and potentially Land Court hearings,” Dr Lynham said.