Residential workforce a falsehood

THE State Government has been caught out completely misleading communities and the media in the wake of their decision to backflip on mining giant BHP's 100% forced FIFO workforce application for the $4 billion dollar Caval Ridge Mine, says Queensland Mining Communities president, Kelly Vea Vea.

"The government has been caught out falsely claiming it will require BMA to keep 80% of its employment residentially located in the Bowen Basin, across all its operations - this just simply isn't true and they know it," Ms Vea Vea said.

"After conversations with the Co-ordinator General and the Treasurer's office and thoroughly reading the project conditions, it is clear that contrary to their claims, there is no condition, no policy, no head of power or any mechanism to ensure 80% of people get the chance to live in the region with their family for Caval Ridge or any other BMA operation.

"If you scratch the surface of the Bligh government's spin on this decision, they have sold out our communities and worst of all they have tried to mislead the public into thinking otherwise.

"Even the company has confirmed that it can proceed with 100% forced FIFO, it can proceed with its Buffel Park mega camp to house its 100% forced FIFO workforce and it has confirmed it is not bound in any way to any figure of maintaining an 80% residential workforce.

"We think this government has behaved disgracefully; meeting after meeting they were nodding their heads in agreement with our concerns - and then they turned around and gave BHP everything they wanted - with disastrous implications for our region's future."

Ms Vea Vea said the project conditions included re-announced housing, re-announced financial commitments but there was no link between the workers and housing, which means BMA got everything they wanted.

The furore comes after unprecedented unity from Central Queensland leaders after they issued a joint letter calling on the Premier to reject the mining giant's push to force 100% of its workforce into fly in, fly out from south east Queensland.

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