BHP and Downer Group meet with community leaders

TODAY representatives of BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) and Downer Group convened a discussion with community leaders in Blackwater to discuss how to ensure a smooth transition occurs in relation to the contracts that were announced on Thursday 20th August.

In a statement released, BMA and Downers said they understood the announcement has caused some uncertainty in the Blackwater community and for this reason both companies are working together to ensure the community is properly informed about what the decision means.

"Both companies are talking regularly with the community to ensure we continue to work closely with the workforce and the community about the best way to implement the changes," the statement read.

"BMA will continue to utilise its existing community engagement processes, like our BMA Community Network, in addition to one on one engagement throughout the transition period to gather information and respond to community needs.  

"Downer Group anticipates it will require similar numbers of people to operate the two new contracts as what BMA has used for these operational activities. 

"Downer also appreciates that Blackwater is a residential mine, and has no intention of starting up a FIFO operation or building a new camp.

"Downer acknowledges that its employees have the right to choose where they live, but will be strongly encouraging them to live in the local community. 

"Downer also understands that some rooms will be available at the existing camps in town, but envisage that the vast majority of its permanent workforce will live in houses or units.

"Downer also have a strong track record of supporting local businesses and suppliers and has already been making contact with local businesses and suppliers to gain an understanding of what services and supplies can be provided to them."

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