Junior mining firm hiring 100% local

WITH pressure mounting on mines that hire exclusively fly-in, fly-out workers, a junior firm is hiring 100% local.

As BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, with its Daunia and Caval Ridge coal mines refusing jobs to those living in nearby Moranbah or in the greater Central Queensland region, New Emerald Coal is using an "employ local" policy.

NEC plans to restart mining at the mothballed Blair Athol mine by June 30, after buying it for $1 from multinational giants Rio Tinto last year.

Already it has recruited 120 workers from the surrounding towns of Clermont, Rockhampton and Mackay.

An NEC spokeswoman said it targeted local staff "to ensure that the community in which we operate benefits from employment opportunities if they have the necessary skill-set to fulfil the position".

BMA employs about 4000 workers at its six mines who live in Central Queensland.

BMA restricted jobs at its two new mines to those in Cairns and south-east Queensland, forcing those desperate for work to relocate into these recruitment zones.

Previously, BMA has said using a "remote workforce" helped the company secure a more diverse set of workers.

The targeted approach is supported by the Queensland Government, with Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney describing it as "spreading the wealth" of the resources industry.

Meanwhile, Federal MP George Christensen - who represents Mackay - has previously described the practice as a form of "geographic discrimination" which he said should be illegal.

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