News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: mining jobs hit by 13% decline throughout WA; Maritime Union looks to expand battle with Chevron; and Papua New Guinea gains support in $1.4b Ok Tedi mine fund row.

Lou Caruana

b>Mining jobs hit by 13% decline throughout WA

The number of people employed in Western Australia’s mining industry declined 13% over the past year to its lowest level since August 2011, leading a downturn in the industry across Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review.

Western Australia’s mining industry employs 99,000 people full time, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This is 5% lower than the 104,900 in the three months ended May 31, 2013, and 15% lower than the peak two years earlier.

Total mining industry employment in Western Australia is 102,300, the lowest level since August 2011.

Maritime Union looks to expand battle with Chevron

The Maritime Union of Australia is considering legal action against US oil and gas giant Chevron, which it argues is breaching its obligations under a state agreement to use local workers for its massive Gorgon project, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The MUA, which is embroiled in a bitter dispute with Chevron, will also ask the West Australian parliament to probe its employment practices.

MUA state secretary Christy Cain said Chevron favoured foreign workers and described Barrow Island – where the company is constructing its $US54 billion ($A64 billion) LNG project – as “Guantanamo Bay”

Papua New Guinea gains support in $1.4b Ok Tedi mine fund row

Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill is claiming a limited victory in a legal battle over a $1.4 billion fund established by BHP Billiton to pay for development after the company withdrew from operating the Ok Tedi copper mine, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Singapore Supreme Court reportedly ruled on Tuesday that money cannot be taken from the main part of the fund to pay for operational spending and that the fund must provide accounts to the PNG government within two weeks.

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