The following information is from our 2023 festival and will be updated early in 2024.

Proudly sponsored by CFMEU, the Coal Shovelling and Roof Bolting Competition is one of the signature events of the festival.

Registrations open at 10.15am on Saturday 20th August at the Coal Shovelling area with the competition starting at 10.45am.

What is Coal Shovelling?

As the name suggests, coal shovelling is exactly that. You shovel coal against the clock to see if you can fill the skip (coal cart) in the quickest time.

For Open Coal Shovelling events, the participants shovel at the same time to move 508kg of coal into a stationary skip (on scales).  When the 508kg is reached, the clock stops.  Because both competitors will shovel simultaneously, having a team made up with the following shovel holding styles, is advantageous;

1 x Left Handed (holds the shovel with their right hand at the spade end)

1 x Right Handed (holds the shovel with their left hand at the spade end)

All other events will require participants to shovel one at a time (changing on a time interval) until the stationary skips are full.  These remaining events will happen in heats with three teams competing at the same time – a great crowd pleaser.

Additionally, each category winner/s receives prize money!

The overall winner for open singles (over 20 years) receives bragging rights as the Queensland Coal Shovelling Title Champion. Additionally, each category winner/s receives prize money from a massive prize pool!

Event types:

This year, events include:

  • Open Singles (over 20 years)
  • Open Singles (under 20 years)
  • Open Singles Novice (first timers)
  • Open Men’s Doubles
  • Open Women’s Doubles
  • Open Mixed Doubles
  • Senior doubles (grades 10,11 & 12)
  • Junior doubles (grades 7,8 & 9)
  • Junior doubles primary (grades 4,5,& 6)

Coal Shovelling kicks off from 10.15am on Saturday 20 August at the festival.

Meeting point is at the Coal Shovelling area near the football fields.


Registrations are only taken onsite at the festival between 10.15-10.45am on Saturday 20 August.

Registration is $10 per person per event. Payment to be made on the morning of the festival prior to competition. Competitors under 18 years old will need a parent/guardian signature before you are allowed to compete.