Mining company Ulan Coal has sparked fear in Queensland’s Mackay region, with concerns it is trying to “poach” skilled workers for its new mine in New South Wales.
The Mackay Daily Mercury is reporting that representatives from the miner will head to the Mackay Show this week to find miners and tradespeople for the expansion of its coal mine located about 30 minutes north of Mudgee.
The company is apparently looking to hire not only skilled workers including recruit operators, electrical and mechanical tradespeople, process area co-ordinators and mine under-managers and deputies, but also those with little to no experience.
The Mackay and Bowen Basin companies already struggle to retain skilled workers and Regional Economic Development Corporation chief executive Narelle Pearse told The Mercury mining regions should work together to build skills bases, rather than competing for skilled workers.
She also believes the Mackay region has more to offer workers than the mine in central New South Wales.
“Everything they’ve got on offer is on offer here but we’ve got a bigger industry that, long-term, is more sustainable,” she said.
“We’ve got more to offer here.
“Where do you want to live: the Whitsundays or in rural New South Wales?”
Ulan Coal wants to source workers with varying skills at what general manager Dan Clifford called the “state-of-the-art” underground coal mine.
The new additions to the mine will make it one of the most modern in the nation, Clifford told The Mercury.
“This is a chance for motivated people to relocate to a vibrant community close to Sydney and develop their careers in Australia’s fastest growing industry, with significant training and career development opportunities being provided for the right people,” Clifford said.
“We want to attract people with the right attitude and work ethic and we will invest in developing their skills.
"The strength of the mining industry across Australia has made it extremely difficult for other mines to attract new employees in recent years, but we believe that Ulan has more to offer.
“Mudgee is a great place to live. It offers all of the amenities of a bigger city and a great lifestyle in a beautiful rural setting.
“That’s something other mines can’t compete with.”