THE announcement on Tuesday was clear.
BHP Billiton workforce changes would see a reduction of about290 positions at MtArthur Coal, as part of an overhaul in the way the mine operates to better strengthen the commercial viability of the mine and help ensure its sustainability.
The miner said the decision came after an extended period of declining thermal coal prices and the release of BHP Billiton’s Interim Results.
However, there were still questions Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI)President Mike Kelly was interested in having answered.
“I think that the focus for the Chamber is firstlytowork with BHP and understand exactly what the 290 jobs are,” he said.
“I’ve asked BHPtogive us some information about the number of people [losing their job] who are living in Muswellbrook.
“We are expecting to receive some information very soon and hoping that the number is much less than 290.
“It is importantfor our local economy that any Muswellbrook residentsmade redundantarereemployed in town.”
The chamber is keen to assist the company and employees to achieve this.
At this stage, Mr Kelly saidit is hard to know the extent of the impact this announcement will have on Muswellbrook.
“We need to remain focused on the jobs that are retained,” he said.
“We believe that after the restructure there will still be 1400 employees plus contractors at Mt Arthur
“This is a very significant workforce.
“The changes we are seeing at Mt Arthur are a continuation of what has been happening in the coal industry for the last two years.
“Local businesses are adjusting to the changes and meeting the challenges head on.
“It is significant that BHP has recently launched their Buying Locally Project and this is expected to create more opportunities for Muswellbrook businesses to supply goods, services and labour to Mt Arthur.
“It is hoped that this will provide some offset to the job losses at the mine.”
Affected employees are being provided with support.
Chamber view: Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mike Kelly and BHP Mt Arthur Coal in the background.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.