Mining jobs will be lost and local industries damaged if the Queensland government does not abolish coal freight charges, Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham told MINING DAILY.
MP Cunningham is prompting the Bligh government to put an end to charges imposed on coal freight, which have increased export costs by $8 million a year since they were raised late last year.
“Ms Bligh said she was interested in jobs, but the coal freight charges are creating more production expenses which will cost jobs and damage local industries,” she said.
Gladstone specialises in aluminium production and is home to the world’s largest alumina refinery as well as the country’s third-largest coal export terminal.
According to Cunningham, the extra charges mean mining and production companies have to pay more for coal to power their operations and export their products.
“Increased costs is pushing the viability of local projects further down and putting more pressure on companies who are already struggling with the economic crisis,” she said.
She says increased production expenses will have adverse flow-on effects on a range of industries and adversely affect the community by costing jobs.
“The Premier needs to look at options that would help to support industry as well as local business, rather than slugging them with extra charges,” she said.
“Now the Premier has been re-elected, she has to follow through on her promise for jobs and offer job security to the people who live across Queensland.”