Thursday, May 16, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Burdekin Labor Candidate Slammed Over Demise Of Glenden

The announcement by former Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker that she is running as the Labor candidate for Burdekin is both disappointing and damning for the Queensland mining industry, Energy Resources Queensland (ERQ) said in a statement last week.

“Last week’s hurried announcement highlights what we have said all along – Anne Baker needed a headline to leverage herself into State Parliament and that is why she concocted the save Glenden announcement,” ERQ spokesperson Paul Turner said.

In the damning statement, Mr Turner said that the former Isaac Regional Council Mayor and current Labor candidate for the seat of Burdekin “Did not save Glenden, and did not even care about it until it became a political hot potato.”

“Former Mayor Anne Baker stood by while Glenden deteriorated from a thriving mining town of 1300 to the current run-down and ignored town of 200.

“If anyone is to blame for the current state of the town, it is former mayor Anne Baker. While she effectively deflected that blame during her so-called “save Glenden” campaign, the facts speak much larger than her hollow words.”

Mr Turner said that during Ms Baker’s time as Isaac Mayor, the population of Glenden declined by 80 per cent. Under her watch, Glencore’s nearby Hail Creek mining camp was approved on August 22 by the State Government, meaning 1000 workers would live in that camp rather than Glenden itself. Yet the Byerwen camp owned by QCoal which had previously received approval and is already operational, had the conditions of that approval changed forcing its workers to live in Glenden after the town has deteriorated into a place that no longer has the services one would expect from a mining town.

Under the new legislation QCoal will be required to progressively move its workers from camp to Glenden from next year, with no remaining workers to be on the camp site after 2029.

Mr Turner went on to say that the supermarket, newsagent, pharmacy and almost every shop in Glenden has closed. The school’s year 1-12 population has declined to less than 40 students. There is no childcare centre, the golf club and bowls club both closed and the town’s rubbish dump is due to close at the end of June.

“Far from saving Glenden, former mayor Anne Baker doomed this town,” Mr Turner said.

“As Mayor, Anne Baker supported the 1000-person mining camp at Glencore’s Hail Creek which is the same distance from Glenden as the Byerwen mine she is now working to close.

“Anne Baker never spoke to the 800 workers at Byerwen, many of them who live in Isaac Regional Council and almost 60 per cent of whom live within two hours of Glenden or asked them what impact her political campaign would have on their lives and safety,” he said.
Member for Burdekin Dale Last said in state parliament last month, “Last week I spent time in Glenden where I spoke with residents and business owners, and eight months after that amendment passed through Parliament, I can categorically say that nothing has changed in that community and that community continues to wither on the vine and look for help and look for assistance, and it’s highly likely that nothing will change.”

ERQ is running a campaign to have the State Government overturn legislation it introduced with no consultation or reference to a Parliamentary Committee which will force the Queensland-owned and operating QCoal mining company to close its onsite Byerwen mine camp and force its 800 workers to live in Glenden.

A photo from QCoal shows the demise of Glenden with much of the town run down or overgrown

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