Jo Coleman from from St Lawrence at the CQ Coal Project public meeting on Thursday night.
Jo Coleman from from St Lawrence at the CQ Coal Project public meeting on Thursday night.

Clive Palmer's $4 billion coal mine coming to CQ

WITH attention firmly on the Bowen Basin mines, another Central Queensland coal project is gathering momentum, much closer to Rockhampton.

About 40 people attended a public meeting, 130km northwest of Rockhampton, in Marlborough on Thursday night to hear an update on Clive Palmer's Central Queensland Coal Project.

Among them was Livingstone Shire Councillor, Glenda Mather, who said everyone was "well behaved” and received a lot of information.

"The main concerns were depletion of underground water resources and the potential to contaminate water with coal dust ending up on roofs, in rainwater tanks and in their lungs,” she said.

"There were also concerns about the number of trains.”

Clive Palmer's big plans for tiny CQ town

The project's proponents are Central Queensland Coal and Fairway Coal. Both companies are subsidiaries of Waratah Coal, a fully-owned subsidiary of Mineralogy Pty Ltd, which is owned by Clive Palmer.

The plan is for three open cut pits and a rail connection to the Queensland Rail North Coast Line.

The project is situated 25kms from Marlborough and 10kms from Ogmore in the lower catchments of Tooloombah Creek and Deep Creek, within the Styx River catchment.

It lies on cattle grazing country, 8km from the nearest boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Contained within the Styx River catchment are substantial coal resources of semi-soft coking coal and high grade thermal coal.

The project is yet to be approved with an Environmental Impact Statement currently being prepared for public comment.

If the approvals to mine are granted, $242.68 million is estimated in capital expenditure with an operational expenditure of more than $4 billion over the life of the mine and generating $562 million in royalties for the Queensland Government.

Clive Palmer's Central Queensland Coal Project is being developed near 130kms north west of Rockhampton
MOVING FORWARD: Clive Palmer's Central Queensland Coal Project, being developed 130kms north west of Rockhampton, appears to have majority community support despite some concerns. Christine Mckee

About 500 mainly drive-in, drive-out workers would be needed during construction and 250-500 once operational with an expected life of 20 years.

One Nation MP, Steve Andrew is the Member for Mirani and worked in the mining industry before entering parliament.

He wasn't able to attend the public meeting on Thursday but has met with company directors and spoken by phone with Clive Palmer.

He said his focus at those meetings was to make sure everything was done by the regulations and local concerns were met.

"And local jobs; that local community people would be used throughout the project, especially working with the environment,” he said.

"I have no postcode bias but I do have a close affiliation with the local towns right through that area and there's a lot of good people who are very competent.

"They understand the land and have a lot of good ideas.”

CQCP plans to rehabilitate the 1,160ha of land as they go, instead of the usual method of waiting until the project ends.

"That's the best model,” said Mr Andrew.

"Obviously trying to return to the natural course as quick as possible is best and it creates the least amount of soil run-off.

"There's smart ways of doing things now and this model for rehabilitation will set the standard in Queensland for others to follow.”

Central Queensland Coal Project did not respond to requests for interview yesterday.