FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure

FAIR WORK Australia has ruled that the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance must provide unions and employees with information about its plans for the care and maintenance of the Norwich Park mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin, which is due to be shut tomorrow because it was deemed to be unprofitable by the company.
FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure FWA orders more Norwich Pk disclosure

Mines and projects, map courtesy of BHP Billiton.

Lou Caruana

The FWA's orders require BMA to keep the redeployment and voluntary redundancy process open until 18 May to address any concerns that might be raised by individual employees.

Also it must not involuntarily retrench employees employed under the Enterprise Agreement at Norwich Park Mine and it has been ordered to meet in person with the unions at least three times a week to consult on ways to minimise dismissals caused by the closure of the mine.

BMA confirmed that it was able to meet the preferences of almost all employees at Norwich Park mine seeking redeployment to other BMA sites.

Norwich Park Mine employees were requested to advise of their redeployment preferences by April 25. All employee preferences had been received and assessed, BMA asset president Stephen Dumble said.

Ninety-nine per cent of employees who wished to be redeployed would have either their first or second preference met, he said.

Employees will have their individual arrangements settled ahead of when the mine ceases production on May 11.

“BMA is pleased that it is able to meet employee preferences,” he said.

“Significantly also, almost all of the employees who expressed a first preference to redeploy to Saraji or Peak Downs mines will be given their preference and will not need to leave Dysart.

“The announcement that Norwich Park mine will cease production was difficult for BMA and Norwich Park employees, but hopefully employees, their families and the Dysart community will now feel more assured about their futures.”

BMA decided to cease production at Norwich Park after it struggled under the weight of a high Australian dollar, unfavourable mining conditions – in part brought about by the recent floods – and industrial action over enterprise agreements.

Dumble said a significant increase in costs and lower coal prices exasperated the lack of profitability at the mine and after a seven week review the company could not establish any “immediate remedies that would allow the operation to sustainably return to profitability”