Queensland Government flies to the rescue

The Queensland government has sent its Rapid Response Flying Squad to Emerald and Mackay in the State’s north to offer support to retrenched workers.

Rio Tinto recently cut 50 contractors jobs from its Kestrel Mine in the Bowen Basin.

The State Government plans to do everything it can to help retrenched workers, Queensland Regional Development and Industry Minister Desley Boyle said.

“There is no doubt that Queensland is feeling the effects of a global economic crisis but I am determined that as a Government we will protect Queenslanders’ jobs wherever possible,” she said.

“We need to hit the ground running and that means getting these retrenched workers back into the workforce as soon as possible.”

Overseen by representatives from government, industry and unions, the Rapid Response Team will help workers find their full skill set and explore different industries for employment opportunities, Boyle said.

“The team will also give workers information about available assistance to make the transition to new employment,” she said.

According to Boyle, Queensland needs to face the reality of the current financial crisis and act accordingly.

“The announcement from Rio Tinto confirms what we already knew, that the global financial crisis is hurting Queensland,” she said.

“That is why the Government is committed to keeping the motor running in the economy by pressing ahead with our $17 billion capital works plan for 2009.

“The loss of 50 jobs in a community like Emerald could have a massive impact on families if we don’t act quickly.

“The Bligh Government will support those families in any way we can.”

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