News

Rockhampton and Gladstone becoming mining boom epicentres

The test pit at the GVK Hancock Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton.
The test pit at the GVK Hancock Alpha coal project in the Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton. Patrick Hamilton

THE hiccuping of Queensland's traditional engine room in Central Queensland is being drowned out by the economic roars from new frontiers in coal and gas.

Mines in the Bowen Basin, west of Mackay, have long been the epicentre of the State's coal mining booms but new figures point to the emerging Galilee Basin west of Rockhampton and Curtis Island near Gladstone powering up to take its place.

New figures from the Federal Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics released on Wednesday showed record-breaking investment in Australia's resources industry.

BREE research found 87 committed developments worth $268 billion across the country with $78.4 billion or almost 30% coming from 22 projects planned for Queensland.

By comparison, New South Wales had 16 projects worth a total of $9.5 billion or 3.5% of the total.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance mothballed its Norwich Park and Gregory coal mines this year as coal prices waned.

It also postponed its Red Hill mine, a plan worth $2.2 billion.

Rio Tinto wound down its Blair Athol operation, which closed last week

Most mining giants also launched company wide cost-cutting measures, often cutting the number of contractors.

There were still 10 coal projects worth a total of $10.2 billion in the Bowen Basin, capable of creating at least 2800 building jobs and another 1610 to operate the mine.

On paper the figures appear paltry when compared with $60.8 billion being invested in liquefied natural gas projects near Gladstone.

Those projects will employ up to 17,000 through construction and up to 3000 once operating.

To the west, $23.15 billion is to be spent in the Galilee Basin, which - if all were successful - would deliver 130 million more tonnes of thermal coal a year for export.

BREE senior economist John Barber said the Bowen Basin lacked the enormous plans plotted for other parts of the State.

"There aren't that many mega projects in the Bowen Basin," Mr Barber said.

"There are some large ones, worth more than $1 billion, but not of the scale of the thermal coal and LNG elsewhere in the State."

Mr Barber said although there appeared to be a slowing in some areas, other parts of the State were making up for it.

"It's never a good thing for a community to have a project delayed or cancelled," he said.

"But when you look at a (state) level instead of regional impacts, it has seen growth due to those LNG projects," Mr Barber said.

Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson warned that big numbers did not guarantee a booming industry.

He said while mineral prices remained low, challenges would persist.

"In the face of lower commodity prices, the delivery of this pipeline of projects is contingent on keeping production costs down, providing access to skilled labour and increasing our productivity and efficiency," Mr Ferguson said.

Topics:  boom gladstone mining rockhampton



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Jobs galore for dive site off Bundaberg coast

Ex-HMAS Tobruk.

Major work for locals to get tourism to sea bed

Five things you need to know this weekend

THIS SUNDAY: Maree and Peter Barone have introduced the Artisan Collective at the Shalom Markets.

Fun doesn't need to be out of your reach today and tomorrow

Last day of school year for Queensland students

SCHOOL'S OUT: Bundaberg North State School students Ash-lee Clarke, Sophie Harbourne, Jayne Wake, Vanessa Van Rooigen, Latoya Sullivan and Brae Burgess ready for the Christmas Holidays.

Kids jump for joy as break comes along

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Cruz Beckham's single a 'one-off'

He is not planning to launch a full-time music career yet.

Louis Tomlinson's mother dies aged 42

Louis Tomlinson's mother has died.

Star Wars spin off gets green light grom Lucas

Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen and Donnie Yen star in the movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

Lucas said to have enjoyed the latest Star Wars spin-off

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!