Central Queenslanders rally for local jobs in Brisbane

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Representatives and community members from regional Queensland towns such as Blackwater, Mackay, Dysart and Moranbah will travel to Brisbane today and march on Queensland Parliament to send a message to the State Government that it’s time to stand up for good local permanent jobs and regional communities.

The tightknit central Queensland town of Blackwater has been hit with several blows with Wesfarmers announcing 50 permanent jobs would be slashed from it’s Curragh Mine in July, and the operation’s major contractor, Theiss, advised of up to 100 more jobs to be axed in September. The biggest blow, however, was the news that mining giant BMA Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance would axe 306 permanent positions at it’s Blackwater Mine, outsourcing those positions to contractors.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland District President Steve Smyth said mine workers and their families in Central Queensland towns, such as Blackwater, were anxious about their futures.

“With the growing casualisation of the mining workforce and the continuation of 100 per cent compulsory fly-in, fly out workforces at two large BHP mines in the Bowen Basin, people are understandably nervous about their jobs and livelihoods,” Mr Smyth said.

“Communities like Blackwater have been hard hit by job losses and the contracting out of good, permanent local jobs, and unless strong action is taken by the Queensland Government against big companies like BHP, communities will be all but destroyed.

“It is pointless relying on BHP to take responsible action – they are deliberately destroying permanent jobs in Blackwater in favour of insecure contract work, while continuing to lock out local mineworkers from the opportunity to even apply for a job at their new Daunia and Caval Ridge mines.

“It’s time for the Government to step up, show leadership and take strong action before entire communities disappear.”

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