Following a recent letter urging BHP boss Marius Kloppers to visit Queensland mining towns, BMA coal miners’ wives have stepped up the action, crashing BHP Billiton’s recent AGM.
Earlier in the month a delegation of women representing Moranbah, Emerald, Blackwater, and Dysart invited BHP head Marius Kloppers to visit their towns to see how the boom is affecting the region.
The women – Denise Robertson; Leslie West; and Renee Hughes, wrote the letter on behalf of the women in central Queensland mining towns that support BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) coal mines, according to the Daily Mercury.
It came after Kloppers had reportedly turned down previous invitations to visit the region.
Now the women have stormed the AGM.
We’re just going to see if we can get the opportunity to ask a question," West told CQ News.
"I know the chances are small, but we’re going to try."
The group pointed to pointed to the skyrocketing rents in mining towns, which have see prices in Moranbah increasing to around $1000 per week just in the last three months.
LJ Hooker Moranbah sales partner Craig Aitcheson told the Daily Mercury rent prices in the town were “literally crazy”.
“I’ve lived here my whole life and I’ve never seen it this bad,” he said.
The prices are causing some tenants to move to surrounding towns to escape the prices.
Moranbah Action Committee spokesperson Kelly Vea Vea told the Courier Mail governments and miners needed to step in to solve the problem.
West stated that "something needs to be done. It’s not just BMA or BHP, it’s the price of rent, the price of real estate, the ability to get into the doctor when you’re unwell…".
A BMA spokesperson stated that the miner had received a letter from the group, and that Kloppers had responded.
Members of the BMA leadership team met with the delegation who visited Brisbane and have offered to meet again with the group," the spokesperson told CQ News.
"We are committed to working with the communities in which we operate and engaging with community members."