No job but one free house gift

Norwich Park miners have until tonight to accept a redundancy offer after BMA announced it will cease operations at the mine.
Norwich Park miners have until tonight to accept a redundancy offer after BMA announced it will cease operations at the mine. Contributed

WORKERS at a terminally unprofitable Norwich Park Mine near Dysart could score a house if they opt for a redundancy package today.

BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance made the offer in official documents circulated to mine workers - and now obtained by APN - when the project's closure was announced on April 11.

They have until midnight tonight to respond. In a question-and-answer section, the document explains what happens to staff who do not want, or are ineligible to slot into roles at other BMA mines.

For those who have purchased a house from BMA "under caveat", taking a redundancy or being sent to work at a distant project would mean "BMA will remove the caveat conditions that apply to your property".

"The property will then be owned by you free of encumbrances."

For those who are given a role nearby, whatever arrangements have been made with BMA will remain in place.

Those given a voluntary redundancy will be given at least 13 weeks of base pay and a further $3762 for each year the worker has been with BMA.

The 490 BMA staff will fill out a list of preferences 1-9 of company sites they would want to work - voluntary redundancy is the first on the list.

But all will have to apply for their new roles.

Those who do not fit the "skill set" of a new role and have not already opted for a voluntary redundancy will have a redundancy forced upon them.

A Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union spokesman has warned workers to be cautious of taking a voluntary redundancy. The union has previously protested both the closure of the mine, and that BMA was not automatically shifting workers into new positions.

"Whatever the worker decides, they need to be confident of their future arrangements," a spokesman said.

"If you take the voluntary redundancy, then the company is not obligated to give you anything.

"They pay you out and you're on your own."

It believed there were up to 1000 vacancies within the company's fleet of Central Queensland projects.

The 10-page missive spells out that the closure of Norwich Park had nothing to do with industrial action nor that BMA was considering selling the site.

BMA did not respond to questions before deadline, but has previously detailed that it would redeploy as many workers as possible to its other projects.

Topics:  bhp billiton mitsubishi alliance bma construction forestry mining and energy union mine workers norwich park mine

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