CFMEU to take on Trad

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - EX­CLU­SIVE SARAH VOGLER

ONE of Queens­land’s most pow­er­ful unions has taken Trea­surer Jackie Trad to task over her planned amend­ments to a min­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Bill.

The CFMEU has taken the ex­tra­or­di­nary step of join­ing forces with the Queens­land Re­sources Coun­cil – which rep­re­sents com­pa­nies that the CFMEU usu­ally en­gages in in­dus­trial tus­sles – to urge Ms Trad to de­lay the planned amend­ments, ar­gu­ing they will have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on re­source in­dus­try jobs.

CFMEU min­ing divi­sion dis­trict pres­i­dent Stephen Smyth and QRC chief ex­ec­u­tive Ian Mac­far­lane yes­ter­day signed a let­ter to Ms Trad and her Cab­i­net col­leagues.

They are ask­ing Ms Trad to split the Bill so it passes some of the changes to meet its elec­tion com­mit­ments, but al­low ne­go­ti­a­tions to con­tinue on other changes un­til an agree­ment can be reached.

“De­spite the best en­deav­ours of all par­ties, we do not be­lieve the amend­ments can be pre­sented to the Par­lia­ment this year with­out the risk of a sig­nif­i­cant ma­te­rial im­pact – whether un­in­tended or other- wise – on the sec­tor’s eco­nomic con­tri­bu­tion to Queens­land through jobs, in­vest­ment, ex­ports and roy­al­ties,” the let­ter states.

The CFMEU is not just an in­flu­en­tial force within Queens­land La­bor but also within Ms Trad’s Left fac­tion.

The union, QRC and ma­jor min­ing com­pa­nies have been locked in meet­ings with the Gov­ern­ment for days in a bid to reach an agree­ment on changes to the Min­eral and En­ergy Re­sources (Fi­nan­cial Pro­vi­sion­ing) Bill 2018, due to be de­bated and passed next week.

The Bill will re­quire min­ers to con­trib­ute money to a fund to be used to en­sure tax­pay­ers are not left car­ry­ing the fi­nan­cial bur­den for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of min­ing areas.

In­dus­try is un­happy about cer­tain el­e­ments, in­clud­ing a new pub­lic in­ter­est test, and say they are con­cerned they could be ret­ro­spec­tively made to foot the bill.

A spokes­woman for Ms Trad said the Gov­ern­ment did not in­tend to split the Bill as re­quested by the union and QRC. She also re­jected claims of ret­ro­spec­tiv­ity.

Mr Mac­far­lane said the QRC would work with the Gov­ern­ment.

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