ACARP ACARP ACARP ACARP
Mining and the Community

Assessing Housing and Labour Market Impacts of Mining Developments in Bowen Basin Communities

Mining and the Community » Mining and the Community

Published: September 17Project Number: C16027

Get ReportAuthor: John Rolfe, Stewart Lockie, Galina Ivanova, Delwar Akbar, Vanessa Timmer, Lindsay Greer, Brigitta Yabsley, Kalpana Pudasaini | Centre for Environmental Management, Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Health, Central Queensland University

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number of housing and labour force issues associated with coal mining in the Bowen Basin in Queensland, use a case study approach in the Moranbah community to assess the issues in some detail, and develop a decision framework to better help government and industry address these issues in a constructive framework.

In recent years the rapid growth in mining activities, changing demographic, social and workforce arrangements, and increasing community concerns about any potential negative impacts have led to an increased focus on the pressures of new mining developments. Key aspects of the focus have been attention on housing and labour force issues, as these represent major areas where social and economic pressures are shifted to other sectors of the economy. Higher demand for housing can lead to inflated rental and housing costs, impacting on sections of the community who do not necessarily benefit from resource development. In the same way higher demands for labour can increase costs and reduce labour availability for other industries and businesses, impacting on the economic framework of a region.

There are a number of different impacts on communities that can be generated from new developments, including:

  • Location of the new workforce;
  • Impacts of increased demand on housing markets;
  • Development of workcamp accommodation facilities;
  • Impacts of increased demand on labour markets and local businesses;
  • Impacts of higher prices for housing and other goods and services for disadvantaged and other groups; and
  • Additional pressure on social infrastructure and services.

The rapid pace of development in the Bowen Basin in Queensland since 2002 has revealed a number of different pressures and responses, without necessarily a coherent strategy emerging to assess and address many of the different impacts on communities. In many towns response strategies appear to lag behind pressures, particularly with long delays occurring to address housing shortages and continued debate about responsibility to address shortages in labour markets and community services (Rolfe et al 2007). The analysis is further complicated by the increasing regionalization of mining impacts, where demographic impacts spread across regional areas, bringing both economic benefits of higher income and employment levels and the associated demands for additional services and infrastructure.

Although there are well established processes for approval of major projects and the conduct of an EIS in Queensland, the rapid pace of new developments, particularly in the mining industry, has meant that the scale of impacts has led to some development pressures on communities. The effects of these impacts are flowing through to policy and approval processes in a number of ways. There are increasing requirements in the Terms of References for conducting EISs for new projects to address housing and labour market impacts, and to account for potential cumulative impacts of multiple projects on communities. As well, there is increased attention from the Queensland Government and industry on potential impacts on communities, with improved engagement and funding for social infrastructure and services.

The interest in identifying and addressing impacts on communities means there are needs for better assessment and planning tools to address issues. The traditional focus of social and economic impact assessment in Queensland is identification of the relevant issues. This focus has intensified in the EIS process following the more detailed requirements in the typical EIS terms of reference, so that project proponents provide more evidence about the existing communities on a number of criteria, and identify more precisely the types of impacts that might occur. However, the process of dealing with key impacts is more difficult, for three key reasons. First, there is no widespread or consistent use of assessment and planning tools to help move from an identification focus to a management focus. Second, there is no clear mechanism to apportion responsibility for addressing social and economic impacts between responsible stakeholders across industry, government and community organizations. Third, there are very limited mechanisms to continue the assessment and planning process for community impacts once an EIS is completed and project approval is granted.

These issues have been addressed in this project through a series of reports that identify issues, provide the results of a case study analysis, and set out a decision framework to help future planning and evaluations. The reports are listed as follows:

  • Report 1:  Overview of the Housing and Labour issues in Moranbah
  • Report 2:  Housing and Labour Market Issues: A Literature Review
  • Report 3:  Development of Bowen Basin regional housing model and its application:  A case study on Moranbah
  • Report 4:  Housing and labour market issues:   Survey of Moranbah households
  • Reports 5:  Analysis of Housing Demand and Housing Choices for Miners in the Bowen Basin Region: A Case Study of Moranbah
  • Report 6:  A Decision Framework to identify and address housing and labour force issues in mining towns in the Bowen Basin

An e-newsletter has also been published for this project, highlighting its significance for the industry.

Underground

Health and safety, productivity and environment initiatives.

Recently Completed Projects

C25069Increasing Mine Productivity By Optimising Electrical Protection

This project sets out to examine and re-evaluate some key mining electri...

C25061Bolter Miner For Rapid Roadway Development

The first Sandvik ABM20 bolter miner was introduced into the Australian ...

C24018Performance Of Cable Bolts Under Axial Loading Subjected To Varying Geotechnical Conditions

This project contributes to an improvement in mining geomechanics throug...

Underground

Open Cut

Safety, productivity and the right to operate are priorities for open cut mine research.

Recently Completed Projects

C24038Quantifying Coal Dust In Urban Samples

The objectives of this project were to undertake scientifically rigorous...

C26031Condition Monitoring & Predictive Maintenance Using Artificial Intelligence Technologies

The main objective of this project was to demonstrate how subsets of Art...

C20015Sustainable Management Of Plantations For Rehabilitation, Carbon And Wood

A series of plantation forest trials were established in the late 19...

Open Cut

Coal Preparation

Maximising throughput and yield while minimising costs and emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C21047Seal, Spray And Wash Water Filtration In Coal Preparation Plants

The objective of the study was to undertake a review of seal, spray ...

C21055Advanced Dynamic Control For Paste Thickeners - First Stage For Control Of Complete CHPP’S

Paste thickeners produce significantly higher solids underflow conce...

C23034Comparison Of Column And Mechanical Flotation Technologies

Fine coal beneficiation is virtually essential for coking coals unle...

Coal Preparation

Technical Market Support

Market acceptance and emphasising the advantages of Australian coals.

Recently Completed Projects

C25043The Strength Of Interfaces In Metallurgical Coke And Its Influence On Coke Abrasion

This project applied tribological and scratch testing techniques to ...

C12004Coke Reactivity Test: Critical Parameters

A Draft International Standard ISO/DIS 18894 has been prepared title...

C12073Accurate Instrumental Determination Of Carbon In Coal

Traditionally, thermal coal has been traded with its value being pri...

Technical Market Support

Mine Site Greenhouse Mitigation

Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from the production of coal.

Recently Completed Projects

C17058Gas Emission Expert Model For Abandoned Coal Mines

This project is a continuation of ACARP Projects C13007 and C14080 (...

C19054VAM Enrichment With A Two-Stage Adsorption Process

Treatment of ventilation air methane (VAM) with cost-effective technolog...

C24017Improving Methods For Quantifying Fugitive Emissions From Open Cut Coal Mining

Fugitive emissions from open cut coal mines are usually estimated fo...

Mine Site Greenhouse Mitigation

Low Emission Coal Use

Step-change technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Recently Completed Projects

C17060BGasification Of Australian Coals

Four Australian coals were trialled in the Siemens 5 MWth pilot scale ga...

C17060AOxyfuel Technology For Carbon Capture And Storage Critical Clean Coal Technology - Interim Support

The status of oxy-fuel technology for first-generation plant is indicate...

C18007Review Of Underground Coal Gasification

This report consists of a broad review of underground coal gasification,...

Low Emission Coal Use

Mining And The Community

The relationship between mines and the local community.

Recently Completed Projects

C16027Assessing Housing And Labour Market Impacts Of Mining Developments In Bowen Basin Communities

The focus of this ACARP-funded project has been to identify a number...

C22029Understanding And Managing Cumulative Impacts Of Coal Mining And Other Land Uses In Regions With Diversified Economies

The coal industry operates in the context of competing land-uses that sh...

C23016Approval And Planning Assessment Of Black Coal Mines In NSW And Qld: A Review Of Economic Assessment Techniques

This reports on issues surrounding economic assessment and analysis ...

Mining And The Community

NERDDC

National Energy Research,Development & Demonstration Council (NERDDC) reports - pre 1992.

Recently Completed Projects

1609-C1609Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

Self Heating of Spoil Piles from Open Cut Coal Mines

1301-C1301Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development...

Stress Control Methods for Optimised Development and Extraction Operations

0033-C1356Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals...

Commissioned Report: Australian Thermal Coals - An Industry Handbook

NERDDC