Gloomy reality hits Qld

IN THE wake of 400 Queensland Xstrata Coal and OZ Minerals miners losing their jobs, Premier Anna Bligh will hold urgent talks with unions and the Queensland Resources Council tomorrow to discuss a short and long-term response to the effects of the slowing economy on the mining industry.
Gloomy reality hits Qld Gloomy reality hits Qld Gloomy reality hits Qld Gloomy reality hits Qld Gloomy reality hits Qld

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh during happier economic times.

Angie Tomlinson

“The global economic crisis is starting to hurt Queensland," Bligh said.

“We knew it was coming, but this week we have begun to see the reality of it.

“In just 24 hours, more than 400 Queenslanders lost their jobs with OZ Minerals and Xstrata Coal and they are unlikely to be the last.

“We are in unprecedented economic times and we need to be smart about how we respond to ensure we are ready to bounce back at the earliest opportunity.”

Bligh said tomorrow's talks would look at a short-term response to minimise the impact of the current economic climate on Queensland's regions, and would also assess a longer-term strategy to cater for future needs, particularly skills.

Mines Minister Geoff Wilson and representatives from the state’s Department of Regional Development and Industry are meeting with unions today to ensure displaced workers are getting support to find alternative employment.