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Last train from Leigh Creek as mine winds down

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The last coal train has left Leigh Creek, the site of Alinta’s now-defunct mine in South Australia’s far north.

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The final delivery will take the company’s Port Augusta Power Station out until its closure next month, when more than 160 direct jobs will go.

Port Augusta Mayor Sam Johnson forecast a ceremony to mark the train’s arrival, insisting the community hasn’t given up hope for the future.

“You can’t take an industry such as a power station out after 62 years of operation and people not feel somewhat flat and down,” he told ABC radio.

“But the mood is quite positive and I believe the people of Port Augusta have actually adapted to change and are looking forward to what the next chapter will be.”

Johnson said the town’s future was in renewable power production.

The SA Liberal Opposition said the Weatherill Government had failed to come up with a comprehensive jobs plan.

“The communities of the Upper Spencer Gulf need a bold, substantial package to begin re-orientating the economy in the face of the devastating job losses at Alinta,” said mineral resources and energy spokesman Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

-AAP

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