The coal mining industry dominates the landscape of the Queensland Central highlands and has had a significant impact upon local communities since the opening of the first mine in 1979 . However, it appears that the vast majority of this $40 billion export industry is absorbed by large financial institutions with very little given back to the local communities. Likewise, the continuing fluctuation of miners has created an instability within the region leaving many local businesses either struggling to earn a living or being forced to pack up and leave.
Yet it is a necessary evil, with the lifestyles that we lead being fuelled by an industry of which we are as much apart as we are appalled by its presence. Perhaps, as some form of compensation more could be done to ensure the earnings of this profitable industry flows into the surrounding communities.