UPDATE: MP Christensen to meet BMA for FIFO discussion

Liberal MP George Christensen has arranged meetings with BMA to discuss the issue of 100 per cent FIFO staffing.

The member for Dawson said the only way to change the 100 per cent FIFO operations was to negotiate directly with the company.

Christensen has scheduled a meeting with BMA for October 8 to try to arrange for local work forces to participate at the Daunia and Caval Ridge coal mines.

“I’ve had a conversations with BMA before, with the head of BMA coal Dean Dalla Valle, about this and we have come to an understanding,” he said.

“He did vigorously defend their policy, but at the end of the day he understood where we’re coming from, and what we put to him was there has to be a way forward, where there can be a mixture of different types of employment there.

“I felt there was some positivity there from BMA that they understood they could employ from the Central Queensland region at these two 100 per cent FIFO mines, and that there wouldn’t be the problems that they thought there would be.

“But having said that I have not witnessed any change in attitude or policy of 100 per cent FIFO employment in the Dania and Caval Ridge mines, and I suppose the reality is if they are going to react to what I and a lot of other people are saying, we have to see it in terms of their employment strategies.”

Christensen said he thought BMA’s hiring strategies were related to a perception of unionised culture in Central Queensland.

“One of the problems I think there is a degree of highly unionised culture in some of the mining towns out there, and they [BMA] are wanting to get in a different culture,” he said.

“They probably won’t say that publically but that’s my take on what they’re doing.”

A spokesman for BMA said that there are unionised workers at the Daunia and Caval Ridge mines, as well as local contractors.

“Daunia and Caval Ridge have a unionised workforce… and 90 per cent of our total BMA workforce is residential,” the spokesman said.

“Only two mines out of eight have 100 per cent FIFO, and those two mines also employ a range of local contractors.”

 Image: Courier Mail

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