Senator’s mining mission to bolster Ipswich flow-on jobs
WHILE they agreed Ipswich’s coal mining days were over, two LNP politicians, including one vying for the state seat of Ipswich West, are determined to get voters in favour of coal.
Meeting at the Yamanto pre-polling booth on Tuesday, Ipswich West hopeful Chris Green and Senator Matt Canavan promoted the flow-on benefits of coal mining, coal power.
Mr Green said the development of coal fields in central Queensland made Ipswich a “stronger” place.
“We need those mining and farming opportunities to remain strong to keep Ipswich strong,” Mr Green said.
The pair agreed it was vital New Acland Stage Three was given the go ahead.
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington has said categorically that if the LNP wins power, the controversial project will have her backing, despite an ongoing legal fight.
“The Queensland coal industry competes on the world stage and beats other countries at their own game,” Mr Canavan said.
“We only export five per cent of the world’s coal but we have a really high quality product, which we deliver very efficiently.”
Mr Canavan said there were 500 potential jobs on offer at the New Acland mine near Oakey and, though they were not necessarily in range for local workers, the benefits would be felt in the Ipswich region.
“What we need for the next four years is jobs for our region and the 500 jobs are a long way from here but the mining industry supports jobs through Brisbane and Ipswich,” he said.
“The equipment, the tyres come from here. I was at an earthmoving business in Inala this morning and the owner told me he wanted New Acland to go ahead because his equipment could build infrastructure in the mining industry.”
Mr Canavan said Ipswich’s former coal mines were no longer lucrative but the city’s service industry supported mining.
“Ipswich was a coal mining town but that’s passed – I don’t think that’s coming back,” Mr Canavan said.
“There are plenty of mining opportunities elsewhere, but Ipswich remains an area where the service industry are crucial parts of the economy.”
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