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    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Far North Queensland to benefit from Bowen Basin mining

    Deputy Premier, Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Jeff Seeney

    Wednesday, February 20, 2013

    Far North Queensland to benefit from Bowen Basin mining

    Cairns and the far north could expect an economic boost from today’s announcement by the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) to source part of its workforce for two new mines from the region. 

    Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the decision would broaden the region’s economic base, boosting it by around $60 million annually. 

    “The sourcing of 250 full time workers from far north Queensland for the new Caval Ridge and Daunia mines in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland will see the benefits of the resource sector spread further across regional Queensland,” Mr Seeney said. 

    “BMA carried out a thorough assessment process to source the non-residential workforce for the new mines and decided that Cairns would join Brisbane as one of the source regions. 

    “This is good news for the region. Cairns has lagged economically for far too long with unemployment rates almost double the national average. 

    “This has turned around in recent months, with the Newman Government working hard to get the state back on track and the region’s workforce reaching a five year high at the end of last year. 

    “The introduction of direct flights from China has boosted tourism while our First Home Owner Construction Grant is stimulating the building industry.”

    Mr Seeney said the BMA decision would add to those positive economic developments. 

    “Apart from the direct wages generated into the Cairns economy from the BMA workforce, increased spending will flow through to retail, hospitality and other business services such as mining services. Airport business activity will also increase with an extra four flights through Cairns a week.” 

    Mr Seeney said the fly-in fly-out workforce in the resources sector saw the wealth generated by mining spread across regional Queensland. 

    He said the Newman Government supported existing resource communities and through Royalties for the Regions and other measures was working to ensure they coped with the pressures of rapid resource development. 

    “At the same time we recognise that the mines and their workforces need the flexibility to be sourced and based elsewhere in Queensland.” 

    BMA will start its recruitment of workers in Cairns immediately with FIFO operations from Cairns to Moranbah starting mid-year. 

    [ENDS] 20 February 2013

    Media Contact: John Wiseman 0409 791 281 or Kate Haddan 0418 373 516