A new underground coal mine in central Queensland would create thousands of jobs and an economic windfall of more than $1 billion, its operators say.
But the state’s peak agriculture group says it has real concerns about the proposed mine, which would run under some of the most productive farmland in Queensland.
Bandanna Energy says new economic modelling shows its proposed project at Springsure Creek, south of Emerald, will create more than 1000 full-time and 2100 part-time jobs between now and 2015 if it gets the go-ahead.
“This is one of the few coal projects in Australia that is continuing to progress despite the weak global economy,” managing director Michael Gray said in a statement.
The project would contribute $997.8 million to Queensland’s economy over its expected 40-year life, with the Queensland government forecast to receive approximately $3.4 billion in payments, mostly in royalties, he said.
However, Agforce President Ian Burnett says despite assurances from Bandanna Energy about new technology, farmers remain unconvinced their properties will be spared from subsidence.
Agforce will be intently monitoring the application’s approval process.
“We’ll also be following very closely the research work that the company plans to undertake,” he told AAP.
“The concern remains that they’re planning to long-haul mine under some of our very good agricultural land and the subsidence we’ve seen from other mines will have a huge impact on the activities which are able to be carried out on the surface.”
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection will be taking written submissions on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project from Thursday until March 27.
The issues it must address in its EIS include impacts on strategic cropping land, surface and groundwater, flora and fauna and air quality.
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