Mining giants in fight that could spell disaster for NQ town
A PETITION has been launched to pressure two mining companies to come to an agreement on accommodation in Glenden.
QCoal could be forced to build a workers camp in the small mining town because it cannot find any accommodation for workers for its Byerwen Coal project.
Glencore owns most of Glenden, about 120km south of Collinsville, in order to service Newlands mine but since labour levels have decreased at the mine there are reportedly about 250 empty homes in the town.
But the two miners are in a stalemate around a deal to have workers on the QCoal site housed in Glenden. Each mining company is blaming the other for not brokering a deal.
Reports on a meeting in March between Glencore and QCoal revealed some 'bad blood' between the two companies, as both blamed the other for not agreeing to use the vacant homes in the township.
Due to the impasse, QCoal may need to build a new workers' camp near the mine.
That's a decision that the town and stakeholder want to avoid.
Whitsunday Regional councillor Peter Ramage said "the last thing that's needed in that area is another worker's camp".
Mr Ramage said another option was Collinsville.
"From the QCoal site, Collinsville is only five to ten minutes further away, and its sealed road all the way," he said.
Mike Brunker, Labor's endorsed candidate for the seat of Burdekin, wanted to breathe new life into Glenden and is appealing to the companies to reach an agreement, with a petition.
"In the late 80s and 90s we had a team from Glenden in the football competition. There were 300-400 competitors in the Glenden Open (golf) every year," he said.
"It was a thriving little community."
He said now the shops have closed, and there is a general store being run by a local resident just to keep something there.
"The chemist has moved to Proserpine and visits the town two days a week," he said.
"What these miners have to realise is that they are bargaining with a community... families."
He said common sense had to prevail.
Mr Brunker has started a petition to deliver to Glencore and QCoal asking them to reach a resolution on accommodation, and to get the 250 homes filled.
QCoal's project, 20km west of Glendon, was expected to mine its first coal this year.