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Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said it had definitely been a glass half full week for the community after Glencore announced it will be restarting production at its Collinsville Coal Mine and recruitment will commence for over 200 jobs.
The news follows on from Sunday’s State Government’s decision to invoke special powers to ensure the controversial Carmichael coal and rail project starts next year.
“Parts of our region, in particular Collinsville, have been doing it tough for a few years so the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned on full beam after today’s announcement,” said Cr Willcox.
“Glencore’s advice is that recruitment would focus on locals and that is exactly the news our community needs to lift spirits,” he said.
“With funding for two major solar farms at Collinsville and construction expected to start on the Carmichael coal and rail project next year the green shoots are sprouting within the resources sector.”
Coal has been mined at Collinsville for almost 100 years. Glencore cut production in December 2015, citing declining thermal coal prices. The 230-strong workforce was reduced by 180, 140 of whom were redeployed to other Glencore operations.
Mayor Willcox said Collinsville was recognised as producing some of the cleanest coal in the world.
“This is a win-win situation for all. Instead of dirty coal flooding the overseas market, South-East Asia have signalled their demand for the specific type of clean coal produced by Collinsville.
“Collinsville is showing its diversity by also being a major player in solar energy after two large scale solar generation projects were announced last month.
“Renewable energy is the future and I am proud our region is not only the supplier of the best clean coal in the world but is also leading the charge to act on climate change while creating new jobs and diversifying our economy,” he said.