Top 5 stories of the week

 We look at the top five stories you read this week.


1. BMA to permanently close Norwich Park coal mine

Unsurprisingly, this bit of breaking news was the most read story of the week. In it was revealed BMA’s announcement that it was closing the ‘unprofitable’ Norwich Park coal mine. We also had the QRC and CFMEU talk about the shocking, and somewhat unexpected move. This story generated a high number of comments, especially as the shut down comes amidst the worse series of strikes to cripple the Bowen Basin mines in its history.


2. Toyota Hilux may leave Rio and BHP mines

A left of field story which looked into both miners potentially rejecting the mine site workhorse – the Toyota Hilux, due to safety concerns.

Apparently, as the Hilux doesn’t have a five star safety rating, it is not ‘safe enough’ for the mine site. One commentor said this has been tried before in underground mines, stating that the mine tried to "replace a Toyota because it doesn’t have a side air bag with something that does, and that breaks down more frequently and is not as safe.  The stupidity of it all is that the underground vehicles are governed to 30 kms so in the majority of cases air bags would not deploy.  As stated before a high safety rating won’t make much different to a haul truck."

Also, we know that the pic is a Patrol, not a Hilux.


3. Miners to lose jobs in the Hunter Valley

More than a 100 contractors may lose their jobs following BHP cancelling its overburden contract with Bowditch at Mt Arthur.

This again relates to safety concerns on site.

It doesn’t seem to be a good time to be a coal miner this week, with BHP announcing so many cuts and closures.


4. Palmer pays zero tax

A piece which generated a bit of anger. It was about Palmer and the fact his operations have yet to pay any tax whatsoever. Not really news as such, considering that as they aren’t mining and producing revenue, then they aren’t really subject to tax. You can’t tax a proposed hole in the ground just yet.


5. Unions not at fault in Norwich Park mine closure, sources say

This follow up to the Norwich Park closure attempted to answer a few concerns floating around and dispel some of the rumours which arose after the initial closure. Mainly that it was BMA sending a message to the unions and their ongoing industrial action, and that it would respond to threats by shutting the mines down. Both sides said this was not the case at all, and Norwich Park had struggled for a while, and this action likely would have happened either way. Not that it is any comfort for Dysart.

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