Rehiring retrenched workers should be a condition of mining lease

CFMEU Mining and Energy

The Miners Union today said a court decision overturning an appeal against the New Acland Stage 3 expansion had come too late to save the jobs of 150 mineworkers at the Darling Downs coal mine.

The Union is now calling on mine owner New Hope to honour commitments to rehire retrenched workers as soon as any new work begins.

Today, the Brisbane Court of Appeal overturned a case brought by the Oakey Coal Action Alliance to prevent the expansion. In order to proceed, the project still requires Queensland’s Mines Minister Anthony Lynham to grant the required water license and mining lease.

“We urge the Minister to act quickly to grant the outstanding approvals, so work can begin,” said CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland Vice President Shane Brunker.

“Today’s court decision has come too late for 150 workers whose last day of work is today.

“However, as soon as any work begins on the site, the company must prioritise rehiring the workers who have been laid off through no fault of their own.

“To overlook them and hire contractors or bring in new workers would be a slap in the face for their loyal workforce and the community that put so much energy into supporting the New Acland expansion.

“To make sure New Hope does the right thing, Minister Lynham should make rehiring the retrenched workers a condition of the mining lease.”

/Public Release.