Queensland Mining Communities president Kelly Vea Vea with a message for the Bligh Government in Brisbane yesterday.
Queensland Mining Communities president Kelly Vea Vea with a message for the Bligh Government in Brisbane yesterday.

Govt lack of backbone approach slammed

A DISGUSTED Queensland Mining Communities president has given a symbolic message to the Bligh Government.

Kelly Vea Vea presented Labor MPs with a chiropractic voucher for a free backbone check at Parliament House yesterday, and condemned the government for its "short-sighted approval" of BHP's 100% fly in, fly out Caval Ridge Mine approval.

"Our communities' ask of this government was a conservative one," Ms Vea Vea said.

"We backed the government's original decision, but they back flipped and gave BHP 100% forced fly in, fly out - with devastating consequences for families, communities and Queensland's future regional development."

Ms Vea Vea said Premier Bligh and her government was "putting families and communities last" with each decision made on "critical development issues", despite QMC representing traditional Labor constituents.

"But this decision has left many in our regions wondering what State Labor stands for these days, and after 12 months of discussions with this government, it turned out to be all spin and no substance," she said.

"We have always said workers should have the choice to live with their families in regional communities, but this government has just set a precedent by allowing industry leader BHP to force families into 100% no choice FIFO arrangements."

Today's decision, she said, will shape Queensland's direction "for a generation".

"The government and BHP are using the skills shortage to muddy the waters on this decision, the reality is much different because its not about where you source labour from but whether you give working families the choice to relocate and live together once they are employed," Ms Vea Vea said.

Strong alliances had been formed with local governments, state LNP politicians, federal Labor MPs and mining community representatives.

The Caval Ridge Mine will potentially generate $50 billion across its lifespan.


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