A North America-headquartered mineral producer has been accused of turning Central Queensland mining cities into eery ghost towns.
State Member for Mirani Jim Pearce claims Anglo American Australia’s coal business has replaced mine workers with cheaper recruits from labour-hire firms, and the Queensland Government is not doing enough to curb the alleged practice. He says this contributed to an estimated 20,000 job losses in the mining industry and a combined 6000 vacant homes across the Bowen Basin and in Mackay.
Pearce told metropolitan media he apologises for the government’s “lack of interest” in letting the mining company continue doing what it is doing without challenging it.
He also says it is time for someone to have the “guts to take these companies on and pull them into line” because regional economies are “on their knees”.
Meanwhile Pearce, who is openly a member of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, recently held talks with State Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Dr Anthony Lynham, about the the introduction into State Parliament of new laws banning 100 per cent fly-in fly-out (FIFO) on new large resource projects.
“Under this law, it will be an offence to advertise positions in a way that prohibits residents from nearby regional communities from applying. I am so pleased that we are on the road to getting more jobs for locals and prosperity back in to our regional communities,” he says.’
“The proposed new laws will: Prevent 100 per cent FIFO operations in new large resource projects where nearby regional community has a capable workforce; require large resource projects to consider locals for employment; ensure competitive local businesses have the opportunity to win contracts and be part of the project’s supply chain; and help protect resource worker health and wellbeing.”
However, the Queensland Resources Council has rejected the laws, describing them as excessive and punitive towards the mining sector.