BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns

THE BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance has chosen Cairns as a source region to recruit a workforce for the company’s two new Bowen Basin coal mines – Daunia and Caval Ridge.
BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns BMA to source FIFO workers from Cairns


Lou Caruana

BMA will start its recruitment of workers in Cairns immediately with fly-in, fly-out operations from Cairns to Moranbah starting mid-year.

BMA asset president Stephen Dumble said the company was aiming to recruit up to 250 mine employees from the Cairns region, increasing flights by four per week.

“Importantly, this decision also enables the economic and employment benefits of mining to be shared with other regions outside of the southeast corner of the state,” Dumble said.

He said Cairns was the ideal regional location for the company to source a portion of the non‐residential workforce for its two major new growth projects.

“Our assessment suggests that there is capacity for workers to come from Brisbane and Cairns without impacting on our existing regional employment markets,” he said.

“We are looking for a combination of work-ready employees and new coal industry recruits for operator trades and processing roles, which will begin in mid-2013.

“The Cairns region has a strong history of providing skilled people into other sectors of the mining industry.

“BMA will now commence a recruitment campaign in the region and will provide appropriate training for new industry recruits.”

Cairns Mayor Bob Manning said the announcement was significant in that it reflected a confidence in Cairns to be a major labour reservoir for FIFO operations.

“This is the first announcement of this type from such a major corporate alliance,” Manning said.

“The workforce required for these two ventures could have been sourced entirely from Brisbane but they have chosen to share the opportunities with Cairns and we are very appreciative of that.

“The entire Cairns community will benefit from the flow‐on effects of this decision because it represents a potential injection of upwards of $60 million into this economy annually.”

Queensland Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Jeff Seeney said the decision would broaden the region’s economic base, boosting it by around $60 million annually.

“The sourcing of 250 full-time workers from Far North Queensland for the new Caval Ridge and Daunia mines in the Bowen Basin in central Queensland will see the benefits of the resource sector spread further across regional Queensland,” Seeney said.

“BMA carried out a thorough assessment process to source the non-residential workforce for the new mines and decided that Cairns would join Brisbane as one of the source regions.”

Seeney said the BMA decision would add positive economic developments to the region.

“Apart from the direct wages generated into the Cairns economy from the BMA workforce, increased spending will flow through to retail, hospitality and other business services such as mining services,” he said.

“Airport business activity will also increase with an extra four flights through Cairns a week.”

Seeney said the government supported existing resource communities and, through Royalties for the Regions and other measures, was working to ensure they coped with the pressures of rapid resource development.

“At the same time we recognise that the mines and their workforces need the flexibility to be sourced and based elsewhere in Queensland,” he said.