About 200 workers will lose their jobs when a coal mine in
southern Queensland closes at the end of the year.
US-based company Peabody Energy has announced it will shut
down its Wilkie Creek mine in the Surat Basin, 30km northwest
The company says the mine's 200 employees and contractors
have been notified.
"We have completed our strategic review of the Wilkie Creek
Mine, and we have begun the process of winding down
operations," Peabody Energy Australia president Charles
Meintjes said in a written statement.
"We are committed to minimising the impact of the closure on
our employees, their families and the local community, and we
intend to work with employees regarding redeployment to other
operations where possible."
Peabody describes itself as a leading coal producer and
reserve holder in Australia with 11 operations in Queensland
and New South Wales.
The mine's closure will have a major impact on the Dalby
"Our greatest resource in our region is not our resources,
it's our people and to have that many lose jobs so close to
Christmas is really sad," Mr Brown told AAP.
"It's going to leave a lot of people unemployed and affect
families in our community."
He said Peabody and the council were working to redeploy the
"We have huge challenges in terms of (population) growth and
want these families to stay here. They are part of our
community," he said.
"I will work with Peabody and the four major gas companies
here to try and do our best to find work for them."
Mining union CFMEU spokesman Steve Smyth said Peabody had
told them that rising costs and falling coal prices left it
with no choice but to close the mine.
"They obviously knew this was coming and to do it around
Christmas is disappointing," he said.
"It puts a lot of families on the scrap heap."