AJ Mayr slashes Tomago jobs

Steel fabricator AJ Mayr NSW has cut 40 jobs, which will have a major impact on Hunter Valley coal mining.

Forty employees were let go yesterday as the company entered administration, meaning its $800 million contract for the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group’s third coal loader will go unfinished, according to The Herald.

The work on the coal loader had been progressing for the last five months, and was one month from completion when the jobs were cut.

AJ Mayr was contracted to John Holland, and is building a major piece of the third coal loader which is expected to dramatically boost exports through Newcastle’s Kooragang Island coal port.

According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union state organiser Daniel Wallace, the owners of the steel fabricator need around $1 million to complete the job.

"It could cost John Holland a lot more than that to pack up the whole operation and get the work finished somewhere else," Wallace said.

"Any delays could also impact down the line at NCIG, where they are waiting for this to be finished so they can get the coal-loader finished on time.

Newcastle Port Corporation recently lodged an amendment plan to change harbour shipping channels to move forward the coal loader development.

The application stated that the NSW Government “endorsed terms for the construction of a fourth coal terminal at the port, should conditions be met,” according to the Newcastle Herald.

A number of different options for the loader are still being considered.

“In support of the NSW Government’s commitment to further development of export capacity within the port of Newcastle, [the port corporation] has made the decision to amend the location of the swing basin,” the application said.

“These changes are required to facilitate further expansion of coal-loading facilities on Kooragang Island upstream of the swing basin.”

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