COAL TOUR: The future looks bright for CQ with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matthew Canavan and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry taking a flying tour of the booming coal rich Galilee Basin.
COAL TOUR: The future looks bright for CQ with Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matthew Canavan and Capricornia MP Michelle Landry taking a flying tour of the booming coal rich Galilee Basin. Contributed

CQ coal mines boom as coal heads towards being top earner

STRONG resource exports from CQ are driving the region's jobs and economy according to newly released figures.

Newly released figures from the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science report showed a record return of $226 billion for 2017-18.

Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan said strong demand and prices for coal, iron ore and liquid natural gas (LNG) was expected to push figures even higher this financial year.

"These figures demonstrate once again the vital importance of the resources sector to Australia, providing a massive contribution in terms of spending, royalties and jobs throughout the nation," Senator Canavan said.

Senator Canavan said the report predicted coal to overtake iron ore as Australia's most valuable export at $58.1b, around $400m above forecast iron ore exports at $57.7b.

"It's time for Labor to end its war on coal. The strong demand for coal also gives us the chance to get projects like Adani and the Galilee Basin going," he said.

"Opening up the Galilee would generate 16,000 direct mining jobs and tens of billions in taxes."

CQ coal mine projects are leading the charge to boost the economy and employment with four in the Galilee Basin and one in Bowen getting the green light. These include:

  • Alpha Coal and rail $10.8b 2,450 construction 2,200 operational.
  • Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail, Galilee Basin $16.5b, 2475 construction, 3920 operational.
  • Galilee Coal Project $6.4b, 3500 construction, 2325 operational.
  • South Galilee Coal $4.2b, 1600 construction, 1288 operational.
  • Red Hill mining lease, new underground, 2000 construction, 1500 operational.

There are also two mines in development:

  • China Stone Coal, 300km West of Mackay, $6.7 billion, 3900 jobs.
  • Olive Downs, 40km south-east of Moranbah, $1 billion, 5-700 jobs.

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry siad the coal industry supported thousands of workers throughout the region and this report proved the point that coal in not dead - it's booming.

"Central Queensland mines such as those in the Bowen Basin produce some of the world's best coal, and we should make the most of this natural advantage," Ms Landry said.

"We have an abundance of coal, and quite naturally we should use it for the benefit of all Australian families and industries."