Financial incentives to live in town

STANMORE Coal is considering offering financial incentives to attract skilled workers to live in central Queensland near its Mackenzie and The Range projects which are due to begin production 2015.

Lou Caruana
Financial incentives to live in town

The Range, which has an 18 year mine life over two pits, is expected to mine 5 million tonnes per annum of high energy thermal coal using excavators, wheel loaders and trucks.

Managing director Nick Jorss told the ABC the company wanted to offer employees choice about where they live.

"Some of those workers which we'll look to attract will be ones who have families and they are not looking to drive-in, drive-out or fly-in, fly-out," he said.

"Secondly, we've already started considered incentives or encouragement, financial incentives to have people stay in town."

Jorss said the company places a high priority on fostering a sense of community among employees.

“We take seriously our social responsibilities that come with being a part of the community,” he said in a recent presentation.

“We aim to engage with the local community in an open manner and be known by positive deeds and not just words.

“Stanmore Coal plans to make a meaningful and positive contribution to the town and the broader region that supports the development of vibrant, livable and sustainable communities.

“We place high importance on the value of education and community health and will tailor our community strategy accordingly.”

In the struggle to attract and retain workforces for the $130 billion worth of new projects on the drawing board, companies like Stanmore will have to be innovative in how they attract workers according to speakers at the Australian Mines and Metals Association's national conference in Gold Coast.

There are not enough skilled workers and association president Ian Smith says 45% of apprentices drop out before finishing their trade.

Stanmore is being proactive about contributing to local communities around its development sites in the Surat and Bowen Basins.

“We will be speaking directly – and being approachable – with local landholders, community organisations and local council about our plans and how to minimise any impacts,” Jorss said.

The company would respond to feedback received during the EIS process and establish a district community program that will support welfare and wellbeing of children, youth, and senior citizens; education and training; and projects and activities that support a healthy, active and cohesive community.

The company would use local contractors and suppliers where possible and encourage the operations workforce to live locally.

It would align community programs with other resource companies, Jorss said.


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