G&S; managing director Mick Crowe is preparing for several contracts at the Caval Ridge Mine.
G&S; managing director Mick Crowe is preparing for several contracts at the Caval Ridge Mine. Tony Martin

Mackay contractors win share of Caval Ridge work

THE opening of the Caval Ridge mine near Moranbah is not all bad news for Mackay workers.

Managing director of Mackay-based mining contractor G&S Engineering, Mick Crowe, said not all Mackay workers were being left out at the mine that boasts a 100% fly-in, fly-out operating crew.

Mr Crowe said his firm was working on its fourth dragline shutdown project at Caval Ridge and could be providing up to 350 workers in the near future.

"At any given time, G&S Engineering will have at least 50 people working at Caval Ridge," he said.

"This has potential to increase to 80-100 workers in the future.

"They will carry out a number of tasks including upgrades, maintenance support, electrical work, mechanical support, diesel fitters helping out and more."

Mr Crowe said next month there would be even more opportunities.

"Next month alone, 250 G&S workers will be on a three-month contract at Caval Ridge for a dragline shutdown project," he said.

"These are non-FIFO workers from G&S alone, not including other contractors.

"There will be a couple of hundred contractors in general at any given time."

Many in Mackay and Moranbah were outraged when Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke in favour of the 100% FIFO workforce at Caval Ridge on Monday.

MPs from his own party, Member for Dawson George Christensen and Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, have been vocal in their opposition of 100% FIFO at Caval Ridge.

Mr Christensen has taken the matter to his Facebook page where he posted: "Despite commentary by others on this matter, I am still completely opposed to BMA's 100% FIFO workforce mines. Quite frankly, I couldn't care less what others think about it. The policy needs to end."

Mr Crowe said the new mine was good news for the Mackay region, regardless of whether it was 100% FIFO or not.

"A FIFO mine doesn't mean people get parachuted into it," he said.

"Once they are built there is always ongoing work and local support needed."

BMA's Caval Ridge Mine was officially opened yesterday.

It will employ about 500 workers during its operational phase, with FIFO workers sourced from Brisbane and Cairns.



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