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 of Dalby.
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 community.
“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 workers.
“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.”