Unions rally for more mining boom benefits

Around 1000 local workers and community members are expected to protest in Gladstone today to demand action on ways to better spread the benefits of the mining boom.

They want to see mining companies invest more in local infrastructure, training, and an end to the use of overseas workers on 475 visas.

A television advertising blitz is also slated for the local airways, The Observer reported.

The rally is part of the ‘Let’s Spread it Around’ campaign, which calls on the government to create policies which protects the jobs of local workers.

The rally will bring together members of Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Electrical Trades Union, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Maritime Union of Australia.

"We must ensure this once-in-a-generation mining boom benefits all Australians," CFMEU Queensland construction and general division secretary Michael Ravbar said.

"For the Gladstone community, this means more needs to be done to support local health, education and road infrastructure, all of which is struggling to handle the rapidly growing pressures being placed on it."

CFMEU Queensland mining and energy district president Stephen Smyth said there had not been enough investment in skills training for local workers.

"A report by the Workforce Development and Productivity Agency last year highlighted that a third of 15 to 19-year-olds are out of work, that many companies don't want to take time to train them, and that Queensland had 'worrying clusters' of unemployment," Smyth said.

CFMEU national secretary Michael O'Connor said governments needed to ensure local jobs, industries and communities were supported.

Image: brisbanetimes.com

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