Young workers view $22 billion black coal industry as a dinosaur


Young people prefer cities: Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) mining and energy division president, Tony Maher, says the industry is often viewed by young people as a dinosaur and there is a strong tendency for young professionals to seek employment in one of the big cities rather than regional locations. "The big attraction for workers is the lifestyle that companies can offer, which does make it more difficult in remote areas."

No problem in Hunter Valley That’s a view shared by Xstrata Coal chief executive, Peter Coates. Xstrata is one of the nation’s big three coal producers, along with BHP and Rio Tinto. Xstrata’s operations are in the Hunter Valley in NSW and Bowen Basin in Queensland. "In the Hunter Valley we have no difficulty, in attracting workers. It is the ultimate location for a mining workforce in the country."

Big Three finds biggest obstacle to expansion is locating workers: In Western Australia, Worsley has said the biggest obstacle to a proposed $1.5 billion expansion of its alumina operations is finding the 1000 workers needed to do the expansion. BHP has made the same statement regarding its proposed $7 billion expansion of the Olympic Dam copper and uranium mine in South Australia. The company needs thousands of workers when work commences early next decade and is hoping that attractive residential developments at the remote Roxby Downs town site that will be onsold to workers at cost will be a drawcard.

The Australian, 13/5/2006, p. 6

Source: Erisk Net  

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