BMA celebrates 500 new jobs at Caval Ridge after sacking 700
BHP Billiton Coal President, Dean Dalla Valle, was today joined by Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and joint venture partner Mitsubishi in a ceremony to open Caval Ridge Mine, which has created around 500 jobs in Queensland.
Caval Ridge is one of two BHP coal mines which use workers pulled entirely from Cairns and Brisbane, excluding local jobseekers.
"We have invested considerably in recruiting and training new entrants to the coal industry who will work alongside some of our experienced operators," Mr Dalla Valle said.
The Caval Ridge Mine opening comes after BMA sacked 700 workers from seven Bowen Basin mine sites including Caval Ridge Mine just over two weeks ago.
BMA Asset President Lucas Dow said at the time that it was a unpleasant day for the local communities.
"It's a very, very tough day for the company, employees, their families and our communities," Mr Dow said.
"It is one that was not arrived at lightly. It is to ensure economic viability, and we remain committed to the Bowen Basin.
"The current (coal) prices provide significant challenges to the industry sector and BMA is not immune to that."
However Mr Dalla Valle today said he was proud of the diverse workforce at Caval Ridge Mine, which helps shape a positive and productive culture at site.
"Having a FIFO operation enabled us to reach a wider potential employee pool across the State, not only bringing greater diversity but also enabling us to share the economic benefits of the mine more broadly.
"Over 30,000 people applied for around 950 roles at Caval Ridge and its sister mine Daunia."
Tony Abbott to attend Caval Ridge mine opening
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will be in Moranbah today for the official opening of BMA's Caval Ridge mine.
He will be joined by Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the controversial coal mine opening.
Member for Dawson George Christensen has been campaigning for BMA to reconsider the mine employing a 100% FIFO workforce.