Coal mine simulator facility opens to provide training to the resources sector

The ribbon-cutting honours were done by Minister for State Development Kate Jones, Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for Treasury Julieanne Gilbert and Mayor Greg Williamson. Image from Mackay Regional Council Facebook

The new $7 million Mackay Resources Centre of Excellence has opened in Queensland, providing training and support for students and companies involved in the region’s mining sector.

Dubbed as a ‘game-changer’, the one-of-a-kind facility features an Underground Simulator Mining Facility, control room, workshop, laboratory, and classrooms. It was built on council-owned land at Paget by local contractors Fergus Builders – Mackay and was jointly funded by the State Government and council. It is being operated by Research Industry Network.

In a statement State Development Minister Kate Jones said the delivery of the project was supported through the Palaszczuk Government’s $175 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund.

“Queensland is a well-known global leader in the development of mining equipment, technology and services.”

“This facility will strengthen that reputation as we rebuild the state’s economy and continue to create jobs.”

“The government has a clear strategy to rebuild Queensland’s economy and save jobs. Projects like this are vital to that strategy.”

According to Assistant Minister for Treasury and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert the coal mine simulator spans more than 6800 square metres and replicates the physical conditions of working underground.

“This centre will give locals some of the best training in the world to prepare for a career in the resources sector,” she said.

“The Centre will provide safer and more accelerated training options for students and apprentices, and support companies developing new products and researching the field.”

“It’s infrastructure like that will attract more private sector investment and create new jobs.”

Meanwhile Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said Mackay was an ideal location for a mining excellence centre given its proximity to high quality coal fields and concentration of industry expertise and METS companies.

“The world wants our resources, so we need the skilled workforce to make sure we can take advantage of the global demand. This centre along with our education arm the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) will help equip the next crop of resource workers with the right skills,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“QMEA is a partnership between the resources sector and the Queensland Government under the Gateway to Industries School Program. Currently sitting at 75 schools, QMEA is expanding its network in Mackay with more schools to be onboarded in coming months.”

Image credit: Mackay Regional Council Facebook