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Using input-output analysis to estimate the impact of a coal industry expansion on regional and local economies
Since 2004, there has been a major expansion of coal mining in Queensland, Australia. While there have been significant demographic, social and economic impacts at local, regional and state levels, the size and type of impacts are difficult to quantify. This analysis is of the economic impacts of the projected coal mining expansion in the key mining area of Central Highlands regional economy. It is part of the Bowen Basin region. Impacts were also modelled for two smaller communities: the former Duaringa and Bauhinia Shires. The results provide a guide to the size of the distribution of impacts from the coal mining expansion and the potential impacts at the local level. The model had to be adjusted to take account of how a non-resident workforce would transfer impacts from the local or sub-regional area where the project was located to other regions where the population is based. The results demonstrate how 'fly-in/fly-out' or 'drive-in/drive-out' employment patterns can reduce the level of economic impacts to local economies.