The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union has accused the State Government of misleading the public on its decision of BMA’s 100% FIFO application at the Caval Ridge Mine.
“The Government’s media statement on their approval of BMA’s application is completely misleading,” Queensland CFMEU secretary Jim Valery said.
“Our organization has worked tirelessly for over a year on engaging the government, with detailed submissions, numerous meetings with Ministers and bureaucrats – but this government just isn’t listening to people and communities on this and many other issues.”
Queensland Mining Communities chair Kelly Vea Vea agreed.
“The Government has been caught out falsely claiming it will require BMA to keep 80% of its employment residentially located in the Bowen Basin, across all its operations – this just simply isn’t true and they know it,” she claimed.
After conversations with the Coordinator General and the Treasurer’s office and thoroughly reading the project conditions, it is clear that contrary to their claims, there is not condition, no policy, no head of power or any mechanism to ensure 80% of people get the chance to live in the region with their family for Caval Ridge or any other BMA operation.
“Even the company itself has confirmed that it can proceed with 100% forced Fly in fly out; it can proceed with its Buffel Park Mega Camp to house its 100% forced FIFO workforce and, most tellingly, BHP BMA has confirmed it is not bound in any way to any figure of maintaining an 80% residential workforce, ” Vea Vea said.
On Monday Co-ordinator general Keith Davies announced that 80% of its workforce across all of its operation must reside in the region.
Due to this, BMA may still be able source FIFO workers as 100% of its workforce.
However, it may not be able to do the same at its Daunia coal operations.
The approval for its Caval Ridge mine is conditional upon BMA building 400 dwellings, with approximately 160 to be built in nearby Moranbah by June 2013 and an additional 240 to be constructed across the entire Bowen basin over the next four years.
BMA’s original application would have seen it source a minimum of 30% of its workforce from the local region.
The mining union argued that the government should have simply stuck to its original decision.
Queensland Mining Communities Kelly Vea Vea agreed, saying “all Central Queensland families wanted was the Bligh government to stick by its original decision, 70% non-resident and 30% residential workforce to ensure the company provided choice for workers to live with their family in the community and to maintain a population, economic and social balance.”