Isaac coal project to help drive COVID recovery
A PROPOSED Bowen Basin mine has been declared a 'prescribed project' that would deliver job stability and boost the economy post pandemic for regional Queensland.
The $90 million Isaac Downs mining project near Moranbah is expected to support hundreds of jobs and add billions into the region's economy once developed.
A Queensland minister can declare a prescribed project if it is of large economic and social benefit to Queensland or a region.
Regional Development Minister Glenn Butcher said the declaration meant the Co-ordinator-General could intervene in state and local government approval processes to ensure the project proceeded in a timely manner.
"As we implement Queensland's plan to strengthen our economy in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic, projects like this have the potential to play an important role for regional Queensland," Mr Butcher said.
Stanmore Coal's Isaac Downs project expands on the region's existing Isaac Plains Mining Complex.
Stanmore Coal estimates Isaac Downs's economic contribution to the Isaac Region would be $2.5 billion over its anticipated 16-year life and an additional $457.9 million for the rest of the state.
Pending approvals and business plans, Mr Butcher said construction could begin as soon as early 2021 with the mine possibly becoming operational in mid-to-late-2021.
Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the resources sector was one of Queensland's traditional economic strengths and was a key element of the state's economic recovery plan.
Stanmore's CEO Craig McCabe and Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker welcomed the announcement.
Mr McCabe said the declaration would help in securing timely approvals while ensuring high standards of environmental protection.
Stanmore Coal submitted the project's Environmental Impact Statement in January.
The project will support 250 construction jobs and 300 operational jobs.