THE Central Highlands have been left in the dark by mining companies.
After BMA announced that 700 positions would be cut from its seven Bowen Basin mines, Moranbah families and businesses are clambering to recover and adjust to the devastating news.
Moranbah Traders Association president Trehan Stenton said mining companies were happy to be well served by the region in the boom times but the lack of transparency made recovering for job cuts difficult.
“BMA are not giving any information about the nature of the workforce that will be cut,” Mr Stenton said.
“Mining companies need to engage with the community to at least work on a plan for the future.”
Mr Stenton said the state and federal governments needed to unlock funding to help local businesses transition from a reliance on the mining sector to industries such as service and agriculture. “We need short-term help for the wider community,” he said.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said the job cuts would devastate the region
“The majority of these job losses are coming from BMA’s residential mines in our region, which directly impacts our communities,” she said.
“With six BMA mines is Isaac, many of these job cuts will affect Isaac residents.”
Ms Baker said the cuts would significantly affect every aspect of the communities.
Moranbah, Clermont and Dysart are expected to the most economic damage, with the majority of mine workers under threat living in those towns.
Union representatives used the announcement to launch an attack on BHP Billiton.
Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union general secretary Andrew Vickers said the union was also seeking information about the jobs targeted in the cuts.
“BHP is demonstrating a horrifying disregard for jobs and for the future of central Queensland,” Mr Vickers said.
“BHP has profited enormously from central Queensland resources over many years, but they are showing their true colours as a ruthless multinational corporation.”
On Tuesday, BMA Asset President Lucas Dow said the “stubbornly” high Australian dollar and low coal price were drivers behind the review.