Thousands of jobs up for grabs as mothballed mines return

WHILE much of the resources sector seems focused on opening the Galilee Basin, there are a number of mothballed mines coming back on line which will see hundreds of job opportunities.

Rockhampton Regional Councillor Neil Fisher believes the turn-around in the mining industry is happening faster than predicted, but said communities needed to prepare now to take advantage of the opportunities.

Cr Fisher said Moranbah's Olive Downs mine was inching closer to re-opening, saying Pembroke Resources bosses last week told a Mackay conference there would be 700 jobs in the construction phase and 800 once the mine started with 1300 jobs once full production was achieved.

Although there is a positive shift in the industry, Cr Fisher said he would like to see people who were previously employed at Olive Downs be offered jobs there again.

He said recruiting from Cairns or the Gold Coast had heavily impacted Central Queensland in the last mining boom and should not be allowed to happen again.

Cr Fisher said the focus had to be on employing people from Central and Western Queensland.

Rockhampton Regional Council has focused on preparing residents for job opportunities, working with training organisations to make sure locals are skilled effectively.

"I want to see Rockhampton get as much advantage from the resource sector as we can and that's why we put in so much effort," Cr Fisher said.

"It's not just people there who are physically at the coalface; there are so many other opportunities.

"All of these coal mining companies need support on so many levels"

Yesterday the Queensland Resources Council released figures showing 4400 new jobs were created in July, with more than 1400 vacancies now advertised online.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector supported one in every eight jobs in Queensland.

"Over the last 12 months, the resources sector has created more than 8400 jobs - the equivalent of one job an hour," he said.

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