How cattle is helping transform an old coal mine
WESTERN Downs residents were first choice as the Wilkie Creek coal mine continued its earthy transformation.
Rehabilitation started after the Peabody coal mine stopped production in 2013.
Peabody president George Schuller Jr said the area was about 60 per cent rehabilitated, and cattle grazing land was being trialled to soon occupy the space.
"We take our commitment as responsible custodians of the land and good neighbours seriously and our progressive rehabilitation approach means we started rehabilitating the land well before the closure of Wilkie Creek,” he said.
"We have been conducting cattle grazing trials for more than two years now and our results have shown that the cattle grazed on our rehabilitated farming land have grown on par with those cattle grazed on native pastures.”
Ten new Peabody recruits, all from the region, are now working hard to finish rehabilitating the area.
"The team at Wilkie Creek are not only locals. Most are farmers who have worked the land here and know what the soil and conditions respond to best,” Mr Schuller said.
"The new intake of employees shows Wilkie Creek is still an economic asset to the Western Downs region despite working towards completion of rehabilitation works by 2023-2025.
"Our team at Wilkie Creek is best placed to ensure the rehabilitated land fits with the surrounding country and continues to be a community resource long after last production.”
Businesses in the region are also seeing the benefits, as Wilkie Creek's direct supplier spend in the community equates to approximately $2.7 million.
"We're still doing a lot of work on site and we try to use local suppliers first. As a business, you have to support the community that supports you,” Mr Schuller said.