The Courier-Mail

Bid to keep min­ing on Strad­broke

- JOHN MCCARTHY

THE com­pany be­hind Strad­broke Is­land min­ing of­fered a $20 mil­lion com­mu­nity pack­age in re­turn for a few more years of op­er­a­tion.

Si­belco said the $20 mil­lion would be equiv­a­lent to what the State Gov­ern­ment had of­fered in the latest Bud­get to help de­velop an eco­nomic pack­age for the more than 200 work­ers who will lose their jobs in 2019 when the min­ing li­cence runs out.

The com­pany said it re­cently met En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Steven Miles of­fer­ing a com­pro­mise that would al­low it to con­tinue min­ing un­til 2027, in­stead of the 2035 timeline im­posed by the New­man gov­ern­ment.

The Gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to phase out min­ing on the is­land by 2019 con­trasts with the draft en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval given to the Acland coal mine ex­pan­sion. Si­belco chief ex­ec­u­tive Tom Cut­bush was ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed that the pro­posal was dis­missed.

“By bring­ing for­ward spend­ing of fu­ture earn­ings up to 2027, Si­belco could ef­fec­tively match the $20 mil­lion con­tri­bu­tion from the State Gov­ern­ment,” he said.

It claimed the pro­posal put to the Min­is­ter would have gen­er­ated $57 mil­lion worth of value and up to 40 new full­time equiv­a­lent jobs.

Si­belco said it had planned to fund an ex­ten­sion to the ex­ist­ing aged-care fa­cil­ity cost­ing $4 mil­lion.

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