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Community & Business

15 December, 2022

10 jobs for Christmas

New Hope has announced that 10 more locals will fill positions at the New Acland mine north of Oakey.

ABOVE: TSBE CEO Ali Davenport, New Acland Mine CHPP & Maintenance Manager Andy Scouller, New Acland Mine General Manager Dave O’Dwyer

Ten supervisor roles have been offered at the New Acland Mine before Christmas, and there are still jobs up for grabs!

Manager Dave O'Dwyer was on hand at the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise to give the  latest update on New Acland Stage 3.

"We received our last approval about a month ago, and we've received a response to that, both from prospective employees and prospective suppliers," he said.

"We'll have 100 people ready to work on-site in the new year."

Mr O'Dwyer said that already, preliminary work has begun.

"We've started the surveying jobs and the things we'll need to do in advance," he said.

"We're really excited to see the workforce coming back."

The company has seen an overwhleming response to positions with  1500 people having filled out a work application form with New Acland. 

An ad campaign run by the company is expected to see more applications come through for trade and operator positions. 

"We've got 20 people working currently, we've just put in another another 10 in  supervisor and superintendant level roles," Mr O'Dwyer said. 

Some people are previous employees,  but the company says it will have some new ones as well. 

"Those people have the skillset, so they'll be a bit ahead but we're looking out for everyone.

"We've got to do a fair and equitable job. 

"Past employees have the best resume they can have."

"I'm really happy to have 10 in by Christmas and 100 at the site by the end of February," Mr O'Dwyer said. 

He added that there were still openings for operators and maintainers.  

New Acland Mine CHPP & Maintenance Manager Andy  Scouller said he could scarcely believe things had progressed so rapidly. 

"What a difference 12 months makes," Mr Scouller said.

"This time last year, we were finalising redundancies for workers that were staying on for care and maintenance and now, just last weekend, I've been interviewing workers all weekend," he said. 

"They're all in the range of 100k a year, all well paid, so we've had quite a bit of interest."

Mr Scouller said the mine would be fully operational by 2024. 

"Realisitcally, it's probably going to take a couple of years to get the mine operating again," he said. 

"'We're really looking forward to having that money flowing through the community"

He admitted that it was encouraging to see old faces back at the mine.

"We follow the processes, so the best person gets the job, but some of those have been people who have worked here before, so it's been great to see them," he said. 

TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said she was extremely encouraged that the advocacy of business in the region had paid off.

"It's great news for the town," she said. 

"Long term, these are really good jobs and with
the revenue going into Oakey and the surrounding region the opportunities are great."

Ms Davenport said the project would bring life back to Oakey and the Jondaryan and Rosadlie areas, after a tough couple of years. 

"What the community experienced when the mine was up and in production and what it is now is a huge difference," she said.

TSBE has been a big supporter of the mine for years and has had a close relationship with New Hope during the period of inactivity at Acland.   

In 2019, the group co-led a petition with the Oakey and Toowoomba Chambers of Commerce, which attracted over 1500 signatures in support of the mine. 

The impact of New Hope's return to the town is evident, with the company having hadan active presence in the Oakey community, while  Dave O'Dwyer is regularly seen at community events. 

At this stage however it is  not expected that the company will develop any infrastructure in Oakey. 

Ms Davenport says she's confident that the mine's impact will leave a long-term legacy in the district." 

"I think New Acland have done a great job. 

"They are committed to locals, they have always employment.

"I think what will happen is now the approvals are in place, I think the sky's the limit for the region."

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