BMA has weighed in on the debate surrounding the company’s proposed 100 per cent fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce at its Caval Ridge operations near Moranbah, saying plans have been misunderstood.
BMA boss Stephen Dumble the company does want to create residential jobs in Moranbah and the Bowen Basin, The Mackay Daily Mercury reports.
The promises come after BMA proposed a 100 per cent FIFO workforce for the project that was met with intense community opposition.
At present, 70 per cent of the Caval Ridge mine staff work on FIFO arrangements, and Dumble said increasing that to 100 per cent would not damage the township.
He said in this instance the increase was necessary to deal with skills shortages, but would not guarantee the company would not apply to do the same at other operations in future.
“No I can’t guarantee that,” Dumble said.
“What I can guarantee is that we will be increasing our residential workforce in Moranbah and the Bowen Basin.”
Dumble said BMA wants both the business and Moranbah to thrive, and the application would not damage either.
“This is all about finding the people to allow our business to grow,” he said.
“It is only because we’re having increasing difficulty finding people who want to live and work residentially in this part of Queensland.”
There will be 150 workers required for the Caval Ridge project, and Dumble said the company is finding it difficult to fill 750 vacancies throughout the business, and 350 residential workers will be needed for the expansion at the Peak Downs Mine.
“It doesn’t make sense to add 150 to that,” he said.
“It’s unfortunate these 150 jobs have been caught up in a broader debate around 100% FIFO because we are a business committed to regional Queensland.”
Over 400 people turned out at a community meeting on Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the application, saying it will threaten the fabric of their community and workers should have the choice to live with their families.
Dumble acknowledged the large turnout was proof of the passionate community but said some elements of BMA and the application had been misunderstood.
“The 150 (FIFO) jobs are not being seen in the context of our 6000-strong workforce,” he said.
“One application doesn’t tell the story of our commitment to that part of the world.
“The reality is our business is the biggest employer in Queensland and 80% of our workforce is residential.”
A decision is expected to be made by the Co-ordinator General on the application in coming months.