Redundancies made but nothing is paid at CQ coal mine

REDUNDANT workers from Cockatoo Coal at Baralaba have been unable to buy groceries or pay bills for almost two months.

Seventy-five families have been without an income since another round of redundancies swept through the workforce at the coal mine in February, but to date, the company is yet to pay employee entitlements or set a date for when they are to be expected.

The February job cuts followed Cockatoo Coal announcing the Baralaba site would be placed into care and maintenance after the company had been in administration since November last year as it looked for a buyer.

They also added to the redundancy tally which began 12 months ago.

Banana Shire mayor, Ron Carige said he was not aware of any government support methods in place to assist the redundant employees.

He said while employees did not have a separation agreement signed, they would also be ineligible for Centrelink support.

"Employees have been advised to go to Centrelink, however they do not have a separation agreement signed, so I think this would be a waste of time," Mr Carige said.

"I am not aware of any support, however I have written to Minister Anthony Lynham about the hardship Cockatoo employees are going through at the moment."

Mr Carige yesterday said he understood the Deed of Company Arrangement (DOCA) had been signed which was previously "held up by the legal process".

In a letter to Cockatoo Coal employees this week, the company said it would "intend to pay outstanding employee entitlements once there is sufficient funding available to the Deed Administrators".

"Please note that the Company executed the DOCA with Liberty Metals and Mining Holdings, LCC on March 15," the letter read.

"As outlined in our report to creditors, there are a number of conditions that must be satisfied before the DOCA is completed."

The letter claimed "certain administration creditors submitting claims for higher than authorised purchase orders means significant outstanding statutory refunds are due which have yet to be paid"

This means funds are low and employee entitlements were on hold.

Cockatoo Coal declined to comment further on the matter as did Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and State Member for Callide Jeff Seeney.

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