Mining giant BHP has allegedly admitted it is looking at reopening Norwich Park coal mine with a cheaper interstate workforce after a leaked document from a mining contractor exposed their plans, the Miners' Union said today.
When asked directly today whether the company had invited tenders for the operation of Norwich Park with a preference for interstate labour BHP refused to deny it, said CFMEU Queensland President Steve Smyth.
"What they said was 'any recommencement of production is subject to establishing a viable basis for the medium and long term option of the mine'.
"What they meant was 'yes, we're scoping out ways to reopen the mine without any Queensland workers, we're sorry we got caught out'."
An internal briefing paper prepared by a mining industry contractor obtained by the CFMEU outlines the plans to operate the mine with a cheaper labour force.
In a circular to employees today and in a response to direct questioning from the CFMEU, the BHP Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) admitted that it was engaging consultants and contractors at the site to look at ways reopen the mine with lower costs.
"BHP is using weasel words to get around admitting their true intentions. But the reality is they've been busted," said Mr Smyth.
"Clearly the briefing document we obtained is true.
"There is fury across Queensland that BHP would seek to operate mines here but deny job opportunities to Queenslanders.
"BHP's Bowen Basin coal mines are all profitable and efficient operations and can afford to provide secure, permanent jobs to local workers.
"This is clearly an attempt to increase profits at the expense of workers, communities and the broader Queensland economy."
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