30 April 2020
Today's news that coal mining giant Peabody Energy will be cutting its workforce by ten per cent shows the danger of relying on resource industries according to Mackay Conservation Group.
Peabody Energy says it will lay off 570 staff in Australia and the United States as it grapples with the effects of bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mackay Conservation Group coordinator, Peter McCallum, said "Sadly, this is just the beginning of job cuts by the mining sector which will always put its profits before the welfare of mining workers.
"The industry's self interest was clearly on show when it decided to continue operations during the pandemic, putting the health of miners and local communities at risk of an outbreak of COVID-19. In regional and remote areas, struggling health services are ill-equipped to cope with epidemics.
"Demands for tax breaks, regulatory roll backs and attacks on the Industrial Relations system reveal the industry's real stripes.
"Australia is now tracking to continue its reliance on dirty energy and fossil fuel exports which will further drive climate change, while leaving communities vulnerable to rapidly shifting markets which are moving away from fossil fuels.
"We need a government response which stands by workers and drives an economic transformation which sets Australia up for a clean energy future.
Contact: Peter McCallum 0402 966 560
US miner cuts NSW, Brisbane jobs