News

Mine shutdown a 'kick in the guts'

UP to 1400 workers face uncertainty after resources giant BMA announced it would shut Dysart's Norwich Park mine in a month.

Of those, 490 are permanent employees of the company and will likely benefit from redeployment to other operations, its Saraji mine in particular.

The coking coal operation - partly owned by BHP Billiton - will "cease production indefinitely" after 6pm on May 11.

A BHP spokesman said some staff would be given voluntary redundancies, but many would find work inside the company.

"The first obligation is to our direct employees - every effort will be made to redeploy them," he said.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union district president Steve Smyth said the Dysart community will be devastated by one of the towns' coal mines shutting down.

"It's a kick in the guts for Dysart," he said.

"Apparently we are in a boom. I'd hate to see when a bust comes."

Mr Smyth said the majority of the union's 300 members that were permanent Norwich Park Mine workers lived in Dysart.

"We will have other members that are with the contractors," he said.

"We haven't received contact from the contractors yet."

The union is expected to meet with BHP at 10am today to find out more.

In a statement released yesterday, BHP explained Norwich Park had been "losing money for several months" as it was hit by falling production, rising costs and lower coal prices.

The decision was made after a seven-week review into the project.

BMA asset president Stephen Dumble said the closure was not done lightly, but said there was no escaping Norwich park was "not currently viable".

"While recent industrial action has had an impact on production, the mine has been unprofitable for some months," he said.

"As a result, we have had to take urgent steps to both stop the losses and find the best way to secure the operation's longer term future."

Norwich Park is one of seven mines targeted for strike action to run from tonight until Saturday.

Mr Dumble said the mine would remain closed until a viable solution was found.

"We understand that this decision will have a significant impact on our employees, their families and the Dysart community and we are committed to supporting them during this period," he said.

This is not the first time this mine has struggled to survive.

In May, 2009, BHP partially shut down the mine, ran it on a skeleton staff and gave 100 miners a pay-cut due to "difficult market conditions".

Mr Smyth was confident the 490 permanent staff would find work, but the fate of contractors remained unclear.

"They may struggle," he said.

"BMA or BHP staff are given first preference in the enterprise agreement."

Topics:  bma, closure, dysart, norwich park mine




Jupiter and Venus in closest encounter for 50 years

Even with a small telescope the heaven will reveal plenty of their mysteries.

most people will be able to see with the naked eye

Going, going, gone. But to who? It is a feeding frenzy

UP FOR GRABS: The Rugby Park clubhouse and facilities in The Range.

ONE thing is clear, the offers have come in for Rugby Park.

What's going on in and around Rocky this weekend?

Challenge the Mountain 2015.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

Check out what's on in the region today and tomorrow

Latest deals and offers

Gina Rodriguez relished dramatic change for new film

Jane the Virgin lead Gina Rodriguez

TV star shaved her hair for movie role

Kooza takes circus-goers back to Cirque Du Soleil's roots

The high wire act as featured in Cirque Du Soleil's Kooza.

NEW show puts the skills of the performers front and centre.

Branson "amazed" he's still alive after cycling crash

Branson saw "his life flash before my eyes" during a bike crash

Reality TV show "turned our special day into a joke"

UNHAPPY: Maryborough couple Emma and Steven Dilliway who star on Australia's Cheapest Wedding and are not happy with the outcome.

Reality television helped turn this wedding into an internet joke

The Beatle Boys are 'Fabulous'

The World's premier Beatles band presents the Beatles No1's at the Pilbeam Theatre on Saturday September 3.

The Fabulous Beatle Boys bring magic to Pilbeam Theatre next month

John Krasinski has better sex now he's in good shape

John Krasinski says there's at least one good reason to get jacked

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Noosa mayor on "red alert" over planning court decision

Mayor Tony Wellington hands down his first budget.

Mayor upset at lack of say about look and feel of Noosa