Malcolm Roberts' call to reopen Ipswich coal mine
IPSWICH's One Nation candidate wants to return the city to its "former glory" as a mining town.
Former Queensland senator turned state politician Malcolm Roberts visited Haenke coal mine at New Chum today.
Mr Roberts says, with innovation and the use of new technology, coal mining could once again create jobs for Ipswich.
"This mine is a few clicks out of town, but could be beneficial to Ipswich if governments helped, not hindered, the project," Mr Roberts said.
"From listening to the mine operators I have learned that new technology and innovate solutions could see this operation powering with many local jobs created.
"If elected my top priority would be to help businesses like this cut through red-tape and ensure they are operational as soon possible."
Mine Operator Tony Halpin said his company could create 20 immediate jobs, building to 100 more jobs "if only Ipswich City Council would support the project so we can start operations," he said.
"We have the machinery, people and technology ready to open the mine straight away."
Mr Halpin said the mine would be open-cut and would eliminate the problem of future land collapses because of their process of rehabilitation.
It is understood the mine could initially produce 200,000 ton of coal per year.
Mr Roberts is a former Ipswich coal miner, having worked locally underground at Westfalen Mine number 3 before taking his mining skills to operations around the world.
"If this city were to become a coal mining town once more it would really lift the local economy and provide a boon for jobs," Mr Roberts said.
"Imagine the spin off industries that would be created if we had coal mining return to Ipswich?"
"Most interesting is the possibility that the whole area could be turned to coal mining rather than used a toxic waste dump for New South wales waste, as it is now.
"We also discussed the idea of mine tourism, which is big business in places like Canada.
"Further, the business has been a school for prospective mine workers and the creation of the mine would provide further opportunities for skilling our local work-force."