14 August 2014
Maules Creek Delivering On Jobs, Economic Growth
THE first wave of new permanent employees started work this week at Whitehaven Coal’s $767 million Maules Creek open cut coal Project near Boggabri, in the Gunnedah Basin, NSW.
Paul Flynn, Whitehaven Coal’s Managing Director and CEO said: “This is an exciting milestone for Whitehaven Coal and the local community. Welcoming the first new permanent employees to the Whitehaven team signals the start of operations on site working towards the first railing of coal in March 2015.
“As a proudly Australian company that calls the Gunnedah region its home, the fact that new permanent jobs are being created shows the economic benefits are really starting to flow to the local area. Over 75 per cent of Whitehaven’s full time workforce is currently based in the local area and we are totally focused on maintaining or increasing that proportion overall.”
Around 100 new permanent employees will start work at Maules Creek between now and February. Subsequent recruitment programs will follow as the operation ramps up to the initial goal for the first 12 months of coal production at the rate of six million tonnes per annum.
While many of the first group of workers coming on board have experience in the industry from outside of the area, as operations increase the opportunities for inexperienced local people will increase.
When operating at full capacity Maules Creek is expected to employ approximately 450 people. The project will add over $40 million per year in wages into the local community. Whitehaven’s overarching employment strategy includes a commitment that the workforce at Maules Creek will be 10 per cent Aboriginal within five years – reflecting the local population as a whole.
With nine local Aboriginal people also being employed in construction jobs, the figures reveal that the company spent during the FY2014 year:
- Payments to Registered Aboriginal Parties for salvage work, Walk on Country and associated meetings – $2.5m
- Payments to others for archaeological-related cultural heritage work – $2.9m
“This project is about much more than just building a mine. It’s about making a positive economic
contribution to the local area over the long term; providing jobs, supporting local businesses, creating
opportunities for Indigenous and Aboriginal Australians, and helping to ensure the viability of entire
communities around”, Mr Flynn said.