Empty houses and streets in the coal mining town of Glenden in the seat of Burdekin Picture: John Andersen
Empty houses and streets in the coal mining town of Glenden in the seat of Burdekin Picture: John Andersen

Major players talk plans to save mining ghost town

RESIDENTS of a small mining town who fear their community will be destroyed have been given a glimmer of hope in their fight to stay put.

Burdekin MP Dale Last held a meeting with State Development Minister Kate Jones and Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker this week to discuss a path forward for the struggling Central Queensland town of Glenden.

Residents fear their community will soon disappear when the nearby Glencore-owned Newlands coal mine shuts, unless the State Government steps in to save it.

The Glenden General Store is one of the last remaining businesses in town and owner Milissa Payne said the only thing keeping the township alive was Adani's nearby Carmichael Rail Project.

"Personally, I would like to see the State Government step in and make Glencore sell some of their housing off," Ms Payne said.

"Glencore want to bulldoze the town because that's in their contract."

Mr Last said the meeting secured a commitment from Ms Jones to work cooperatively on the "best possible outcome" for Glenden.

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Glenden from above.
Glenden from above.

"There is still work to do and, in the spirit of addressing this in a bipartisan fashion, I won't go into detail on the steps forward but I can assure the people of Glenden that their concerns have been raised at the highest levels which is what I committed to do as a first step," he said.

"As we move forward, I will continue to fight for Glenden.

"Their future and prosperity is at stake and, because that is the priority, I will continue to work with Mayor Baker, the Minister and the Co-ordinator General to get this issue addressed once and for all."

Cr Baker said the council had led ongoing advocacy and collaborative work with the Queensland Government to promote positive outcomes for the town.

Burdekin MP Dale Last. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Burdekin MP Dale Last. Picture: Alix Sweeney

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"It is pleasing to see collaboration with the state member, the State Government and our council now, so that we are all on the same page in securing a positive future for Glenden," she said.

The Daily Mercury contacted Ms Jones's office for comment, but did not receive a response by deadline.

A resolution could not come soon enough for Ms Payne, who refused to leave the area where she had made a life for herself.

"I did make it my home, I buried by daughter and got married here," she said.

"Where do I go to? How do I get to my daughter's gravesite?

"How unfair is it that after 30 years they tell me I'm not allowed to be here anymore when they shut this mine down."