News

Unions dig dirt on Norwich Park

Norwich Park Mine was still a hub of activity on Wednesday night, just two days before its closure.
Norwich Park Mine was still a hub of activity on Wednesday night, just two days before its closure.

CLAIMS BMA is intent on deunionising the Norwich Park pit were bolstered yesterday with the State Government claiming it knew of plans the mine would re-open once the coal market strengthened.

Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said on the record he had been in "consultation" with the mining giant and he took it "on face value" the mine had endured an extended period of low production, resulting in the decision to mothball the site from tonight.

But barely eight hours later, Mr Cripps justified his communication with the company.

"In my position as Mines Minister, the company has been regularly updating me on the future for the site and most critically, the future for workers and the local community of Dysart," Mr Cripps said.

"They have explained their decision was based upon a number of external factors that have led to the mine being unviable including flooding, lower coal prices and high costs.

"They have said their plans at the moment are to mothball the Norwich Park site."

Mr Cripps refused to be drawn in to the industrial dispute between BMA and the Single Bargaining Unit, comprising the AMWU, ETU and CFMEU, citing the ongoing battle was a "matter for the company and their employees".

The CFMEU has long held the view the cessation of the Norwich Park pit was a tactical ploy to remove union involvement in its 900-strong workers.

District president Stephen Smyth said he wasn't surprised at Mr Cripps' comments or the reaction from the State Government.

"They (the State Government) will always support those that support them," Mr Smyth said.

"It's interesting to note (the CFMEU) has written to the Premier (Campbell Newman) on two occasions regarding the Norwich Park lease to be freed up and given to someone else that will use it.

"It's disappointing he hasn't commented back."

Mr Smyth said the mine's lack of profitability was "nonsense" and the cessation an attempt to reintroduce a non-union affiliated workforce.

He said the Fair Work Australia ruling which found BMA had failed to communicate with the unions in good faith was a victory for the SBU, which represents more than 3500 workers across the Bowen Basin.

The FWA ruling combined with Norwich Park's cessation had bolstered the SBU's resolve.

"It has made us even more determined to push ahead with the dispute," Mr Smyth said.

BMA yesterday denied it had any plans to reopen the Dysart mine anytime soon.

"Norwich Park Mine will cease production indefinitely from May 11," a spokeswoman said in a statement.

"Cessation of production will stem further losses and allow key operating areas to be fully reviewed and hopefully significantly reset to provide an effective basis for the mine.

"Recommencement of production is subject to establishing a viable basis for the medium and longer term operation of the mine. No date is able to be provided at this stage."


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Register for Relay for Life 2017

SIGN UP: Lorna Hicks, Debbie Shields, Julie Sandeman and Ashlee Hansen at the Central Highlands Relay for Life 2016.

Throw your support behind Relay for Life 2017.

Day extra special for new citizens

FLAG DOWN A PARTY: The council will hold events all over the Central Highlands.

Australia Day will be extra special for our newest citizens.

Their stories live on

HISTORY LESSON: Lady Annie Brassey visited Tenterfield in July 1887 while spending much of the last 10 years of her life at sea. Hear her story on Australia Day.

Hear the region's stories of old at the historical afternoon tea.

Local Partners

Women "bullied" into caesareans at rural hospital: claims

Maternity service review causes chaos at Emerald Hospital.

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Noll meltdown won't affect Gympie Oz Day concert

Shannon Noll

Photo Contributed

Shannon Noll is still expected to perform in Gympie next Thursday

Win your love with tickets

SMILES: Staff and children from Outside School Hours Care are fundraising for a new playground at the centre.

DAZZLE your darling with tickets to this year's Valentine's Day Ball

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Lisa Marie Woodham will be giving readings in Gladstone until Saturday January 21.

Shopping isn't fun if you can see dead people

Buderim man strips off for speed dating with a twist

RAW AMBITION: Buderim local Jackson pictured with his blind date Candice in a scene from SBS's new dating show Undressed.

People have done stranger things for love

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!