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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