Academic dismisses impacts of Norwich Park closure

A Queensland university researcher has downplayed the affect of Norwich Park's closure, saying it will not have a significant impact on workers.

It comes as BHP officially closes the Norwich Park coal mine this week, while uncertainty still reigns over the future of the mine's workers.

According to Central Queensland University researcher Lindsay Greer the wider impact of the closure will be small as there are other major resource projects coming online, the ABC reports.

On the immediate community, it'll have an impact on some of those workers, but I don't think that it's going to be that significant," Greer said.

"Most of those workers will be able to find employment elsewhere, with employment demand incredibly high in the skills sets that those people have.

"On the broader economy, I don't think it'll have any impact whatsoever – there's so many other developments occurring, especially across Queensland."

Greer went on to say that more planning is needed to prepare communities for closures, adding that communication is key.

"I suppose companies are caught in a set of circumstances but if at all possible, I would suggest that the best approach is to always keep up strong communications between all stakeholders," he said.

"It's not just the workforce but into the communities, it's with governments as well and as much as possible, keep people aware of what the full intentions are."

However, BHP was accused by the CFMEU and Fair Work Australia of failing workers and a failure to communicate.

Fair Work Australia says BHP Billiton has failed its legal obligations to consult workers at the closed Norwich Park mine in Queensland.

The company was taken to Fair Work by the Construction, Forestry, Mining, and Energy Union after Norwich Park workers complained the company was not open about its plans for the workforce.

 

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