11 November, 2009

Another Letter to Premier Anna Bligh & Treasurer Andrew FraserShare

Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Anna Bligh

Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
The Honourable Andrew Fraser

Dear Premier Bligh & Treasurer Fraser,

What will it take for you to make the connection between coal & catastrophic climate change?


Rowan Barber

Joint Statement:
Premier and Minister for the Arts
The Honourable Anna Bligh

Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development
The Honourable Andrew Fraser

Premier drops in on new developments set to unlock Galilee Basin's potential

More than 100 million extra tonnes of coal could be exported every year from Queensland with $25 billion of new projects in the Galilee Basin under consideration by the State Government.

Premier Anna Bligh and Treasurer Andrew Fraser visited the area to the North of Alpha today with Waratah Coal officials on their way to the Premier's 19th Community Cabinet as leader of the state in Barcaldine and Longreach.

"The Coordinator-General is currently conducting whole-of-government environmental assessments into three significant projects that have the potential to create up to 13,000 new construction jobs and around 4,400 operational jobs," said the Premier.

"There are three new mines proposed near the town of Alpha with the potential to add another 100 million tonnes of coal to the state's leading export industry.

"Waratah Coal proposes to spend $7 billion to kick-start this region with the establishment of a 40 million tonne per annum coal mining operation.

"Waratah's proposals alone could create 7000 construction jobs and more than 1500 ongoing jobs."

The Premier said the massive level of investment was exactly what the region needs to be a success.

"We're talking about potential economic and social benefits in this region and also far beyond the towns in the west. Taxes and royalties from projects like these support new jobs and services around the state," said the Premier.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser said that Hancock Prospecting is the other major player in the region and plans to spend $16.5 billion on development of its Alpha and Kevin's Corner mines.

"Coal would be transported more than 400 km by rail to a new Abbot Port terminal for export and the mines could begin shipping their product by 2013," he said.

"Although these projects must still satisfy all approvals and receive company sign-off there is reason to be excited about this largely untapped region. "

As well as the mines, the project proponents are also planning to provide new rail lines, port infrastructure, water supplies and airport facilities worth billions of dollars.

The Premier said that to help the region's development the State Government has established a group to examine how proponents could align their plans, particularly for infrastructure.

Ms Bligh said the Galilee Basin Common Issues Forum (GCIF) was already identifying common goals among stakeholders and opportunities for cooperation, including on a common rail corridor and port facilities.

"The first meeting, chaired by the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, was held in September with representatives from Hancock, Waratah, Vale, AMCI, Bandana Energy, Queensland Coal Corporation, QER and Linc Energy," she said.

"Officers from several state agencies attended, along with Barcaldine Regional Council, Whitsunday Regional Council and the Queensland Resources Council.

"They discussed the planning and infrastructure task including power, water, roads, air transport, service industries, worker accommodation and regional housing implications, skills and training, regional benefits/impacts and community liaison.

"We will continue to work with these companies and do everything we can to facilitate them to get these projects off the ground."

Contacts 07 32244500

Waratah Coal

Galilee Coal Project (northern export facility)

Production up to 40 million tonnes of coal per annum with capacity for expansion
Expected capital cost in the order of $7 billion
Proponent is preparing its EIS
Involves construction of an open-cut coal mine and attendant infrastructure to the northwest of Alpha, approximately 450 kilometres west of Rockhampton
A new rail line is proposed to link the mine to the Abbot Point State Development Area (APSDA) near Bowen and the proposed port of Abbot Point for export
Total employment 6000 people during construction and 760 permanent positions
Initial exports are targeted for the second half of 2013
Hancock Prospecting

Alpha Coal Project

The proposed open-cut mine is expected to be developed in stages and have an initial export capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum
Expected capital cost of $7.5 billion
Proponent is preparing its EIS
Proposal includes a mine and construction of a railway to an expanded facility at Abbot Point or new export terminal to be established at Dudgeon Point
New major water and power supply infrastructure would be necessary to service the mine and port
Initial exports are targeted for 2013
Project could create employment for 2500 people during construction and 1600 permanent positions during operations
Hancock Prospecting

Kevin's Corner

Forecast export capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum
Expected capital cost of $9 billion
Draft Terms of Reference for the project now released by the Coordinator-General for public feedback
Proposal includes an open-cut and underground coal mine at Kevin's Corner, 56km north of Alpha in the Galilee Basin
Mine could create more than 2500 construction jobs and 2000 ongoing jobs
First coal could be exported in 2013

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