The Abbot Point port expansion will support thousands of jobs across the state, according to the Palaszczuk government and the Queensland Resources Council (QRC).
Abbot Point is one of Australia’s most significant coal export terminals, which currently has the capacity to ship 50 million tonnes of the commodity per year. The facility serves both the Galilee and Bowen coal basins.
Expanding the port’s facilities will mean Abbot Point can increase annual capacity by 70 million tonnes, helping support the additional expected coal production at the proposed Carmichael mine at Galilee.
According to the Queensland government, the project will directly create approximately 120 construction jobs and an unspecified number of mining and supply-chain roles. However, the knock-on effect for the coal industry is expected to significantly improve employment opportunities across the state.
“The port expansion is a critical element for unlocking the coal reserves in the Galilee basin, which has the capacity to take Queensland’s coal industry to the next level and create thousands of jobs,” said State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.
He made the comments following the government’s announcement on Tuesday (May 19) that environmental impact statement studies for the expansion have started. The QRC welcomed the news, saying it would pave the way for jobs and prosperity throughout many Queensland communities.
Where will jobs be created in Queensland?
Acting Chief Executive of the QRC Greg Lane said regional areas will particularly benefit from the Abbot Point expansion.
These include additional jobs in Emerald, Townsville, Clermont, Alpha and Rockhampton, among other locations. However, the project could have a positive impact on employment throughout Queensland due to the scale of the initiative.
The expansion may also encourage more people to consider apprenticeships and traineeships in the resources sector, with Queensland’s coal mining industry looking set to ramp up production in the coming years.
For example, the state government recently announced a $57 million upgrade to Sandy Gully Bridge that would boost the crossing’s flood resistance. The project is expected to create over 100 jobs and support Queensland’s coal industry.
Member for Dawson George Christensen stated: “For freight operators travelling to Abbot Point port, this upgrade will be a boon for their business operations, minimising the risk of bad weather halting their operations.”
The Australian government will provide $45 million for the upgrade, with the state government funding the remainder. Construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2016.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator