1400 mining jobs up for grabs in Queensland
ABOUT 1400 jobs are up for grabs in the Queensland mining sector as confidence returns and strong coal prices create boom-like conditions.
The Queensland Resources Council said a survey of job ads on seek.com.au showed the industry was looking for workers across the state, with coal-seam gas developments providing jobs in the south, and coal in the centre and north of the state.
There are also vacancies in mining companies' Brisbane headquarters.
The coal industry has bounced back from about five years of poor prices and low demand and generated record export levels for the financial year.
The revival of the coal sector has led to a number of deals including Japan's Sojitz bringing life back to the mothballed Gregory Crinum coal project in central Queensland in a $100 million deal that will eventually provide about 300 jobs in conjunction with a neighbouring coal deposit.
About 500 jobs are being advertised for Mackay where unemployment is below 5 per cent.
Gladstone has about 160 jobs and Rockhampton 115, according to the QRC.
Senex is also developing a gas field in the Surat Basin with the promise of 200 jobs ranging from truck drivers to geologists and some are offering generous rosters like four days on, three days off.
The boost to the industry has already led to concerns of a skills shortage, particularly mining engineers.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the mining industry had by far the highest average weekly full-time adult earnings of any industry at $2659, more than $138,000 a year.
The council's March quarter sector report found jobs growth in the coal, minerals, petroleum and gas industries.
"To borrow the famous quote from Lord Kitchener, 'we want you' to apply for a job in resources and fill these vacancies," Mr Macfarlane said.
A report from the Minerals Council of Australia forecasts that Asia's annual imports of thermal coal will grow by over 400 million tonnes between now and 2030.
Coking coal is also strong but there are concerns that buyers are now looking to diversify because of high prices for Australia's higher quality coal and the Aurizon controversy.
Recruitment agency Hays also revealed that almost half of the mining sector's employers expected permanent staff levels to increase this year.
"Our sector continues to drive economic opportunities both in the regions and the larger cities and if we are to maintain this momentum and increase royalties the sector needs people operating the machinery, loading the ships and working with communities."
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed the sector was creating a job every hour or 8400 new jobs over the past 12 months.
Gladstone and Central Queensland 161
Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast 115
Mackay and Coalfields 519
Mount Isa 87
Toowoomba and Darling Downs 43
Roma and Western Queensland 87