QRC raises concerns over Glenden legislation

Mine site

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) has expressed concern over the Queensland Government’s decision to pass legislation that requires QCoal Group to accommodate its 400 Byerwen mine employees in Glenden.

The Byerwen mine is located 20km west of Glenden in Queensland’s Bowen Basin. Once operational, it is expected to produce up to 10 million tonnes of hard coking coal per annum.

Earlier in the week, the Queensland Government passed legislation to grant QCoal Group a mining lease to operate a temporary workers camp for the Byerwen mine.

As per the legislation, QCoal will gradually move workers from the temporary camp into housing at Glenden from 2025, with the camp’s closure scheduled for 2029.

While Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart welcomed the bill, QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane has voiced concern.

Macfarlane said the Queensland Government passed the legislation without consulting with those it will affect, and not considering the possible consequences the 400 QCoal employees may face.

“QCoal has complied with all regulatory requirements required by the government, only to see the rules changed after the event without any consultation,” Macfarlane said.

“The State Government should have properly consulted all parties to find a solution that doesn’t have such a deep personal impact on the lives of mine workers and their families.

“If Byerwen mine’s ability to operate to its full potential in the future is impacted by this decision and flow-on staff shortages, the economic consequences will be felt by businesses right across the region’s supply chain.”

The QRC has also repeatedly raised concerns over the controversial Queensland coal royalty system that started on July 1, hitting miners with a 40 per cent tax on all coal prices of more than $300 a tonne.

““We know other companies are reviewing their investment and employment plans because of the new royalty regime. Once that tide of investment starts to move away from Queensland, it will be very, very difficult to turn it back,” Macfarlane said last week.

However, the Queensland coal royalty system has contributed $12.3 billion in revenue and a record surplus.