CUTS AT THE COAL FACE: The Wesfarmers Curragh mine in Blackwater made tough decisions about its workforce this week.
CUTS AT THE COAL FACE: The Wesfarmers Curragh mine in Blackwater made tough decisions about its workforce this week. Meghan Kidd

Major job losses at Blackwater's Curragh Mine

ABOUT 40 roles have been made redundant at the Wesfarmers Curragh mine in Blackwater. 

The job losses are administration staff and mine supervisors. 

The mine is also moving to a five-day roster, which will result in pay cuts of about $300 per week on average. 



BEING led off site with senior site personnel on each arm, employees - some of more than 20 years - were cut from the Wesfarmers Curragh mine in Blackwater on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In a move described by the company as adjusting to challenging times, several employees were escorted from site after their jobs were made redundant.

With rumours rife since December, the job losses became a reality after employees received correspondence they would be required for a meeting, where they were dismissed.

The latest round of losses, which predominately occurred in the administration building and supervisor departments, did not hit the pits.

A Wesfarmers Curragh spokesperson said the cuts were in response to "continuing challenges faced by the coal industry".

"The changes are designed to ensure that Curragh remains a competitive and sustainable business which is well placed to respond to very difficult market conditions currently being experienced," the spokesperson said.

"The changes will involve some aspects of the operations moving from seven-day rosters to five-day rosters from June 23.

"In addition to the roster changes, a recent review of the staff organisation has identified a number of roles which will no longer be required.

"This will result in job losses at the mine and Curragh is currently working with the employees impacted by the reorganisation.

"Curragh will continue to look at how it can further reduce its operating costs across the business while maintaining the forecast production levels."

The Blackwater community will suffer from the losses, with football coaches, school P&C members and long-standing families all part of the employees lost.

The Bowen Basin is continuing to bear the brunt of the downturn, with Downder EDI's overburden removal contract at the Goonyella Riverside Mine, near Moranbah, terminated by BHP Billiton on Tuesday. Taking effect from September 9, 427 people stand to be jobless.

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