CFMEU urges Newman to be strong on anti-FIFO stance

The CFMEU have welcomed QLD premier Campbell Newman’s FIFO statements, but say he must back his words with action.

It comes after Newman stated on his twitter that his government is completely opposed to 100 per cent FIFO operations in the state.

This news has been welcomed by the CFMEU, which added that Newman must now stick to his word and take action to reverse existing compulsory FIFO arrangements.

CFMEU QLD district president Steve Smyth told Australian Mining “this is great news, as we’ve always been against both 100 per cent compulsory FIFO hiring, as we believe workers should have a choice”.

“We want Mr. Newman to now stick to his word and get BHP to lift its ban on locals applying for new jobs at its Daunia and Caval Ridge mine, and provide the current workforce the opportunity to live locally if they choose,” he said.

In an official statement Smyth went on to say that there are other mining operations currently refusing to hire locals as well, and this practice must be stamped out.

“The new Grosvenor mine operated by Anglo [American] is insisting its workforce commute to the site from hours away, even though it is only five kilometre from Moranbah.

“With large scale job losses in mining there are many skilled experienced mineworkers in Bowen Basin towns like Moranbah looking for work,” he said.

“They shouldn’t have to uproot their families and leave their communities in order to get around the ban on local employment.”

Commenting on the statments, BHP Billiton said its subsidiary "BMA has eight operating mines in the Bowen Basin and six of those have residential workforces".

"BMA made a careful and considered decision to operate its newest mines, Caval Ridge and Daunia with remote workforce arrangements for a range of reasons, including the ability to source a diverse workforce and to share the economic benefits of employment in the mining industry more broadly across Queensland," a spokesperson told Australian Mining.

"The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process that BMA is undertaking for the Red Hill Mining Lease project will enable and sustain mining activities within the Goonyella Riverside and Broadmeadow Mine complex, both of which are operations with residential workforces.  Whilst the company currently has no plans to proceed with the Red Hill Mine component of the EIS it remains an important future option for BMA.

"The workforce required for the sustaining mining activities associated with Goonyella Riverside and Broadmeadow mines would be residential. The Red Hill Mine option of the EIS proposes an up to 100 per cent remote workforce for both construction and operations. As stated in the Red Hill Mining Lease EIS the final workforce arrangements for the Goonyella Riverside Mine incremental expansion and the Red Hill Mine underground expansion option will be finalised once the project scope and timing has been committed to by the owners.

" We will continue to work with local communities to find solutions to continue to build local sustainability.  We have made an important contribution over many years."

Anglo American were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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