More jobs are returning to Australia’s coal industry.
Queensland’s coal sector in the Bowen Basin is the beneficiary on this occasion, with the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) offering hundreds of jobs in the region for the Peak Downs and Saraji mines.
According to the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), the job opportunities are another sign of the green shoots returning to the coal industry, with more than 200 people expected to be engaged for employment at the mines.
BMA is targeting Townsville for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) employees because of the high unemployment rate in the city, as well as the contingent of workers left behind by the collapse of Queensland Nickel.
News Corp media reports outlined that about 70 jobs went to locals in Moranbah, with BMA looking to labour hire contractors in Townsville to fill 200 FIFO contract positions. The jobs are said to be mostly for truck drivers and mobile plant operators, and likely to last for up to 12 months.
QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said it was great news for people in Queensland’s north and the broader coal sector in the state, which had been struggling through a downturn over the past few years.
“This is another sign of green shoots for the Bowen Basin, an area which delivered much of the $1.6 billion boost to royalties for the state government,” Macfarlane, the former federal resources minister, said.
“It follows on from the good news we are seeing right across the Queensland coal industry with record exports last year and new mines opening up.”
After coal prices surged in 2016, several mines in Australia and overseas were reopened. In Queensland, the reopened mines included Glencore’s Collinsville operation.