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Kingaroy Coal Mine ‘Uneconomic’

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The proposed coal mine on land near Kingaroy would not be economically viable and should be rejected by policymakers, according to The Australia Institute (Photo: Nanango Camera Club)

March 14, 2019

A proposed coal mine near Kingaroy would not make economic sense and should be rejected by policymakers on economic grounds, according to a new report.

The report released by The Australia Institute has found the Moreton Resources’ project was unlikely to be economically viable, faced huge barriers in getting the coal to market and would adversely impact key local industries.

“The Kingaroy economy is focused on services and agriculture, and a major coal project would work against existing industries and the local government’s stated plans for the future,” according to Rod Campbell, Research Director at the Institute and co-author of the report.

“While there is a coal-fired power station nearby, it owns its own coal mine and has publicly stated it does not need coal from other mines for ‘many more years’.

“For this new project to get coal to other markets, it would need to build a rail link.

“This could cost $1 billion and also displace recently built tourism infrastructure.”

Mr Campbell said that as renewable energy gets cheaper and coal demand declines, new coal mine proposals became less economic.

“Even projects with the backing of large corporations like Adani and Glencore’s Wandoan mine have stalled,” he said.

“A project proposed by a small company with a history of environmental and tax problems has very little chance of proceeding.

“Policy makers should rule out the project due to the low likelihood of economic benefit, potential environmental and economic risks and the costs associated with ongoing uncertainty for the community.”

The Australia Institute is a think tank based in Canberra.

It conducts research on a broad range of economic, social, transparency and environmental issues.

The Institute is independently funded by donations as well as grants and commissioned research from business, unions and non-government organisations.

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5 Responses to Kingaroy Coal Mine ‘Uneconomic’

  1. Ross Stanley

    I love the Nanango Camera Club photograph that heads this story. Great use of Leading Lines ! The large tree is intriguingly placed. This is an image that encourages exploration by the viewer !

  2. Ben

    In reality this is old news already known, confirmed ironically by a “think tank” in Canberra having a reputation of being “left leaning”.

    It is protecting agriculture in a seat historically only held by the Conservative side of politics.

    Despite the LNP MP claiming the LNP would “protect the rich red soils of the South Burnett”, we are at this point because the LNP gave the company renewed licences for five years after the Labor Government halted it and fined it.

    The Region NEEDS change or these economics will push for the only proposals put forward to sustain the region moving forward. Rethink time is over. Industry and employment is long overdue, folks.

  3. Rod Long

    Mining is not the only way to sustain our region. Every mine comes to an end, as the Meandu miners who’ll all be out of a job by 2030 or 2040 know.

    This project – and the company promoting it – are not suitable under any circumstances. The pollution this mine would generate not only in Kingaroy, but all along the transport route to port, is a blight we don’t need.

    A better solution would be to get enough irrigation into our region to sustain intensive horticultural industries. They’re clean. Green. Endlessly renewable. And capable of supporting hundreds of full-time jobs.

  4. Terry Gordon

    Yes Rod, you are on the right track. I have been pushing for small scale organic fruit and vege production here in the South Burnett for a long time. It would suit many of our smaller properties (lifestyle blocks), less water needed and there is a ready local market for the produce. Only other thing needed is a decent weekly growers’ market to connect growers to consumers which would also be a plus for tourism. It may also encourage some of our young people to get involved and remain in the district instead of heading off to the city looking for a job.

  5. Ross Trevor

    Those that think agriculture can sustain the region need only look at how agriculture has developed, the numbers of farmers and those employed, to realise the state of decline the industry is in across the region.

    Too many rural-based mining critics attempt to push their narrow view of over-importance to the region, ignoring the interests of the vast majority and how to develop the region’s economic base beyond the shortsightedness that has stifled this region’s development for decades.

    The mine and the reintroduced rail link represents increased employment $100s of millions in investment and the region’s ability to attract alternative major industries, including manufacturing, beyond the narratives of agricultural base industries that have stagnated for decades and now are in headlong decline.

    The South Burnett rates base shows some 18,000 properties with some 1800 of those being farms. Many are reliant on off-farm incomes to remain viable, being little more then hobby farms. With many farmers owning two or more properties, this again reduces the the numbers of farmers and the industry’s ability to generate growth, drive business, and activate employment, forcing down the socioeconomic standard of the region.

    Mining and rail are this region’s best chance to reverse this stagnated decline, sparking the changes required to drive this region’s economy forward into the future. Doing nothing but repeating the past is no longer an option for this region.

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