The Queensland employment sector received a boost this week after the federal government gave the green light to the Alpha Coal project.
Federal environment minister Tony Burke said approval of the GVK and Hancock Coal project is subject to a number of environmental considerations surrounding the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
The proposed development, which is expected to have a lifespan of more than 30-years, will see the exploration of a thermal coal deposit within the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
“This decision follows a rigorous assessment process including the opportunity for public comment,” Mr Burke explained.
“The conditions I have set manage impacts on listed threatened species, as well as impacts on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the marine area.”
GVK vice-chairman Sanjay Reddy said approval of the development was a major boon for the Queensland sector, generating 650 jobs during port construction, as well as 200 permanent positions in the Whitsunday area.
The combined Alpha mine, rail and port development will also support on-going, intergenerational operational employment for 1,800 people, and construction work for a further 4,000 – launching more people into jobs in Queensland.
Mr Reddy commented: “We are delighted with this decision. We are the only coal developer in Australia to possess environmental approvals at a state and federal level that integrate the mine, rail and port, bringing to finalisation the tier one environmental approvals that will significantly assist in the facilitation of opening up the Galilee Basin.”