Ghost towns predicted as mine workers move
A FORMER Queensland politician and mining communities advocate is predicting once bustling regional mining communities will become "ghost towns" as mine workers leave in droves to the Sunshine Coast to be considered for a 100% fly-in, fly-out workforce at Caval Ridge.
Central Queensland Coal Communities advocate Jim Pearce said it was "appalling" that mining companies had put Central Queensland communities in a position where miners had to leave their homes and move to a different postcode "just to qualify for a job".
Mr Pearce said the state and federal governments should "hang their heads in shame" for allowing BMA to chose a wholly FIFO workface at its Caval Ridge Mine.
"This is the history of the industry in reverse," he said.
"People used to move from the coast to the coal towns to have a job and a nice home and a great town to live in and now those vibrant populations will become ghost towns. Who would want to live in a community where they have a high risk of not being able to retain a job just because of the policies of the industry?"
He described BMA's decision as "bad policy".
"There's a huge burden on infrastructure, roads and communities along the east coast and all this is adding to it," he said.
"I think it's about time the people of Queensland and people with some authority started to ask the questions why mining companies prefer to have FIFO ahead of a sustainable existing community. The reason is because they get tax concessions for constructing mining camps."
Mr Pearce called on the state and federal governments to take a serious look at the situation.
"Taxpayers, mining companies and the government have put a lot of money into building these mining communities; that's why we need to use them."
Do you think it is appalling that workers need to move towns to qualify for a job?
This poll ended on 09 January 2014.
Without a doubt
Workers are just doing what they can to earn money
No, not at all. There will always be people who will stay in the mining towns
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.