Former Swanbank coal mining site transformed
A FORMER coal mining site at Swanbank is being transformed into what could well be the ideal place to locate a giant recycling park.
The remediation work is being done by Gunne Civil Constructions, whose director Noel Gibb's family has a close Ipswich connection.
"We bought the land three years ago and it was a mess, like a big rubbish dump," Mr Gibb said.
"So we fixed all the mining influence and remediated all the shafts and the tunnels that were there.
"We've taken all the easements out that were there and the extra train lines from when it was a coal loading facility.
"We've basically cleaned it all up and the overburden from the old open cut coal mines that were there and taken it back to a level site so it can be used
"We've shifted something like 450,000 cubic metres already and we've got another 250,000 to go."
Mr Gibb is the grandson of Ipswich legend Alex Gibb, the first Australian soccer captain and who was awarded the number one cap by Football Federation Australia.
Alex worked in the coal mines and raised his five children in Ipswich.
That close Ipswich connection is just one reason why Mr Gibb would like to see the land utilised in a way he deems suitable, with a recycling park a usage he thinks would work.
The aim is to get the land it to a stage where Mr Gibb's company can get some interest from a business looking to buy it or use it.
"We've got 160 acres all together with about 80 or 90 acres of rural land that the mayor (Paul Pisasale) calls a buffer zone, an area that separates it from the Cunningham Hwy," Mr Gibb said.
"We have got some interest but it is a lot of land and you need some investors who want to do something big.
"There is some interest from recyclers and there is a possibility it could become a recycling park or something like that.
"For where it is, it is a heavy industry type development and in six months it will be ready."
The land is between the Cunningham Hwy to the north and Patrick St to the south.
The land backs on to Investa Corporation's land, which is an industrial area known as Swanbank Enterprise Park where Humes Pipes are.
"That site has been done and BMI (Bogside Mining Resources) are on the other boundary at the back of us on the eastern side," Mr Gibb said.
"The western side is where Queensland Pioneer Steam Railways are.
"They are on our block of land and have the steam train that goes to Bundamba and out to Swanbank."
The land was bought in a receiver's sale from real estate agents Savills.
"Because we are earthmovers we bought it in 2014 because the remediation works to a developer would have been too much money.
"But we do it in our spare time and it keeps us all busy.
"Half of it is already (zoned) industrial land and there is another 30 or 40 acres that, after we do the earthworks and pay some fees of course will be industrial land. It is future industrial.
"There is a lot of rural land there too."
A giant Komatsu carry dozer has been doing some of the hard work.
"Komatsu put this big dozer there to show it off to the mining companies , to sell it of course," Mr Gibb said.
"But while it is there it has helped us to shift the material because it shifts 50 cubic metres on the blade every time it moves."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has visited the site and said he was excited by its potential with another industrial park to crearte more employment.
"We have got 14 industrial parks and it would be great to open up another one," he said.
"What Noel has done is just fantastic. We are creating more available land for more jobs.
"When the big industries from Brisbane and elsewhere come in we need to have sites that are ready. We have a buffer zone around it which is ideal."