The Western Australian Government is committed to helping workers whose jobs will be lost after the closure of BHP Billiton’s Ravensthorpe nickel mine, acting Premier Kim Hames said.
Hames said that Premier Colin Barnett will cut short his leave and fly to Ravensthorpe to meet with WA regional development minister Brendan Grylls to appraise the situation.
“The State Government will provide support wherever it can and is already in discussion with the Commonwealth Government regarding how we can coordinate services to those who have lost their jobs,” Hames said.
“It is expected that the Premier and Mines and Petroleum Minister Norman Moore will meet with BHP early next week to discuss a way forward and ensure that workers’ entitlements are honoured in full.”
According to Hames, the global financial crisis has heavily affected mining companies and BHP is no exception.
“Ultimately, market forces drive the mining industry,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that workers from the Ravensthorpe project are having these difficulties but I am hopeful there is still enough demand for labour in other areas of the resource industry, that those employees can transfer their skills to other mine sites.”
Discussions are due to take place this week between the directors general and CEOs of WA Government departments and agencies in order to establish the best way to support the communities of Ravensthorpe, Hopetoun and Esperance affected by the closure.
“As a Government we will do everything we can to protect and encourage jobs,” Hames said.