Media reports that BHP has struggled for months to recruit locally for 270 jobs at its Peak Downs and Saraji Mines have surprised local MP Lachlan Millar and he says the feeling is widespread.
“According to reports today, BHP will now recruit for these jobs in Townsville, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about these jobs before today,” said the member for Gregory Lachlan Millar.
“I would like to know if they were widely advertised through the Central Highlands and Isaac regions,” he said.
“I would also like to know what efforts are being made to recruit workers to move to the nearest towns as resident workers as there are plenty of houses for rent.”
Mr Millar said it highlighted the hollowness of Labor’s commitment to resource towns regarding resident workforces.
“Last November the Minister introduced a new Bill which is supposed to ensure that regional communities in Queensland in the vicinity of large resource projects benefit from the operation of those projects,” he said.
“At the time I said that unless the Bill ensures that concrete efforts are actually made to encourage resident workforces, the Bill is just lip service.
“The Bill is currently being reviewed by the bi-partisan committee. They are holding a public hearing in Emerald next Wednesday from 5.30pm to 7.30 pm at the Mayfair Tavern.
“I strongly encourage people to come along and have their say. We all have an interest in this whether we are miners, teachers, small business people or families. Resident workers underwrite all our front-line services and our quality of life,” he said.
The Bill is called the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill 2016 and the hearing will be held at the Mayfair Tavern in Emerald from 5.30pm to 7.30 pm. People wishing to attend should email an RSVP to [email protected] or contact the Gregory Electorate office for assistance on (07) 4913 1000.