Coal mine excitement builds

THE PROSPECT of a re-emergent coal mining industry on the Fraser Coast is already gripping imaginations here.

Plumbing contractor Trevor Endres was on the phone to Northern Energy yesterday, shortly after reading the Chronicle’s front page story about a possible coal mine at Aldershot, near Maryborough.

Northern Energy is the Brisbane-based exploration company that has lodged an application for two mining leases with the Department of Mining and Energy.

If successful the coal exploration company could be up and running by mid-2011, with the Colton project now expected to yield about 57.4 million tonnes of quality coking coal.

It’s an opportunity that excited Mr Endres who believes diversity can be the mainstay of the region’s economy.

“Hervey Bay is so tourist and construction dependent.

“The minute there is a dip in the economy, building of houses are affected straight away.”

He said his work was not focused on building houses solely but also incorporated treatment plans and maintenance.

“If the focus is new houses exclusively then the work can run out.

“Every different industry that comes into the area is a form of assurance if another sector drops off.”

The coalmining bug could also be catching in the region’s training rooms.

Michel Irving, training co-ordinator Fraser Coast, is running two courses for job seekers in the mining industry.

“This course is compulsory for anyone who wants to gain employment in this area.”

The two day courses are scheduled for February 22 and 23 and will run from 9am to 4pm. The contact is 4124 6233.

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