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Benefits of Galilee Basin's SDA should beat negatives

A CQUniversity economist says there are strong economic benefits that Galilee Basin mine proposals can bring to the area if they come to fruition.

However, when discussing the impact on agricultural land Professor John Rolfe also admitted all projects "have both positive and negative pressures on local businesses".

"As a general rule, with mining and resource development the positives outweigh the negatives in terms of economic outcomes," he said.

"I don't think all the Galilee projects would get up, but even if one got up it would be very helpful because they're such big projects."

The biggest proposal, the Carmichael Mine, received state approval last week and is now waiting on federal approval.

But Prof Rolfe said once approval was given it was not guaranteed that the mine will decide to go ahead.

"It's a very big investment for them to get approval… the difficulty is coal prices are containing to fall," he said.

All the mines are mining for thermal coal, which Prof Rolfe said was lower value.

However, Adani and GVK, two of the biggest mining companies, are Indian companies.

"The Indian government is looking for security in their supply chain, they're looking for a long-term decision and so they're not so concerned about price at the moment," he said.

"Some of the other companies require capital and investment."

It is still unclear where the workforce would be based until development started and if it would consist of mainly FIFO workers.

Prof Rolfe said there was a reasonably good chance there would be a lot of local employment with huge benefits in construction activities.

Topics:  cquniversity galilee basin john rolfe mining state development area