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Friday, 28 June 1996
Page: 3211

(Question No. 248)

Dr Lawrence asked the Minister representing the Minister for Resources and Energy, upon notice, on 22 May 1996:

Is it a fact that the proposed establishment of the Jabiluka uranium mine by Energy Resources Australia (a) has been estimated by the company to employ an additional 110 workers and (b) will involve an underground operation which will be extremely capital intensive; if so, what additional direct employment will the mine create.

Mr Anderson —The Minister for Resources and Energy has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(a) I am advised that Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ERA) proposes to expand the workforce at the proposed Jabiluka mine gradually, from 5-10 in the first year to a maximum of 110 in about the ninth year of operation.

(b) The Jabiluka proposal currently before the Government is indeed a capital-intensive operation, as are most mining projects. Additional direct employment associated with the development of Jabiluka will involve a workforce of about 60 in the construction phase. The mine is also likely to contract Aboriginal corporations for environmental projects and other support services, as is currently the practice at Ranger, producing additional casual employment.

It should also be noted that the ERA proposal does not involve Jabiluka as a stand alone project. ERA proposes an integrated Ranger—Jabiluka operation, with ore from both mines being milled at Ranger. About 150 people are employed in milling facilities and administrative areas at Ranger. The output from Jabiluka will make an increasingly important contribution to ERA's overall operations as the mine is developed and will therefore contribute to the maintenance of these jobs at Ranger.

In addition, industry and academic sources estimate the multiplier effect of mining projects in Australia at 3-4. This means that the Jabiluka project could lead to indirect employment of 220-330. This, of course, does not take into account the ongoing indirect employment generated by the integrated operations at the Ranger milling facility.