Friday, 19 April 2024

Federal Shadow Minister for Resources, Senator Susan McDonald has hailed the opening of Olive Downs steel-making coal mine in Central Queensland, and urged the Albanese Government to remove impediments on the coal sector.

Speaking at the mine’s official opening near Moranbah today, Senator McDonald praised mining company Pembroke Resources for realising its major investment in Queensland.

“This shows the naysayers that coal is not dead and that the Bowen Basin must provide high-quality, efficient Australian coal to the world for decades to come,” she said.

After the opening ceremony, Senator McDonald said Australia should aim to be the world’s coal supplier of choice but said anti-mining policies from Labor State and Federal governments were damaging the sector.

“Even as the world changes its energy sources, demand for coal to make steel will remain, and high-quality Australian coal should be meeting the bulk of that demand,” she said.

“We know how to extract coal safely and to high environmental standards, and our coal burns efficiently so it can be used with lower emissions than other coal around the world.

“But under Labor – both at federal and state level – we see industrial relations laws, energy policies, increased funding to the Environmental Defenders Office and, in Queensland, the world’s highest coal royalties are all combining to tell mining companies they, their money and their jobs are not welcome here.”

Senator McDonald highlighted Queensland Resources Council figures showing mining’s enormous economic contributions, especially to localised small businesses.

“Mining in general contributes about $50 billion to Queensland’s economy, including about $26 billion companies spend with Queensland businesses, many in the regions,” she said.

“My message to the Albanese and Miles governments is to embrace our coal industry, and show some faith in the employees and businesses whose livelihoods depend on it,” she said.