Saunders: Colton coalmine jobs will go to locals
ALL 120 jobs created by the Colton Mine will go to locals.
That's the pledge Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders made to Fraser Coast workers as the State Government approved three leases for the $300million mine.
Mr Saunders, who campaigned on the promise of mining jobs at the last state election, said he planned to keep New Hope "to their word."
"Locals will get first suck of the sauce bottle" Mr Saunders said.
"In all my talks with New Hope I have been assured jobs will be sourced locally and I will be keeping an eye on things and holding them to their word."
Lock the Gate Alliance Spokeswoman Vicki Perrin said strong agricultural and tourism industries were the future of the region's economy, not mining.
"We don't need a mine that threatens the Great Sandy Strait and puts the health and wellbeing of our communities at risk," Ms Perrin said.
"We're calling on the Federal Environment Minister to call the Colton coal project in and require it to be fully assessed under Federal environment laws".
Mr Saunders said he was confident "crucial" environmental concerns about the impact of the mine, which is expected to produce half-a-million tonnes of high grade coking coal per year, had been met.
"I'm not saying there will be no impact - it is a mine, there is always going to be an impact," Mr Saunders said
"But I am satisfied they have so far ticked all the boxes."
New Hope Group's Managing Director, Shane Stephan welcomed the State Government decision but warned plans for the mine were still in the early stages.
"Whilst this is good news for New Hope Group and the people of the Maryborough region it's important to note that a future investment decision still needs to be made," Mr Stephan said.
"We are now in a position to study options around development timing and methodology with a view to obtaining final investment approval from the Board."