Brisbane media is reporting that BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) is considering re-opening Norwich Park mine in Central Queensland but only if they can fly in workers from interstate and pay them much less than other CQ miners.
According to the Courier Mail, the CFMEU has been handed a document by a contractor in which BHP says the mine site would be not be viable to run again unless staffing costs were reduced.
The contractor received the document from BMA after he was approached to tender for a $700 million project to re-open the mine. The document was marked confidential.
The Courier Mail quotes from the document;
“A strong desire has been expressed that labour should be sourced from lower-paying areas outside Queensland (Adelaide, Melbourne for example).”
Andrew Vickers from the CFMEU told the Courier Mail that he was very disappointed in the contents of the leaked document.
“Four hundred skilled Queensland mine workers were put out of work when BHP closed Norwich Park in 2012,” Mr Vickers said.
“Now it appears that Queenslanders from Dysart or Moranbah or Mackay will have to relocate to Melbourne or Adelaide if they want to work at a local coal mine.
“It’s no coincidence that BHP is now planning to reopen the mine exactly three years after closing it, to avoid legal requirements to hire back the local workers it ruthlessly dumped.
“This was always their plan. BHP is playing Queenslanders for fools – denying them the jobs and royalties they deserve from Queensland resources,” Mr Vickers said.
Central Queensland coal mining community advocate, Jim Pearce told the CQ News said it was his understanding that a project contractor was already in place.
“It is definitely not unexpected, because there was always a high level of understanding the mine would reopen when BMA claimed it was again viable,” Mr Pearce said.
“And there had been the thought it would reopen under contract with another company.
“It’s a done deal,” he said.
“I understand the contract was signed off in recent weeks.
“My take on it would be we would see the same scenario happening in Dysart that has happened at Collinsville where a new company would use a labour hire company to employ its workforce under a directive that says local residents should not be considered.”