Miners warned pay up
CQ TEAM STEPS UP FOR QUAKE RECOVERY
MAJOR mining companies pushing out payments for contracted work are causing “devastating” losses for regional businesses.
That’s according to Gladstone Engineering Alliance spokesman Kieran Moran, who said the city was one of many struggling under “extended payment terms” issued by mining giants.
He said a recent Federal Government inquiry looked into how the mining sector could better support regional businesses, one issue being the up to 90 days local contractors are potentially waiting to be paid by multinational companies.
Mr Moran said that due to the downturn of the industry in 2013 mining companies negotiated to stretch out invoice payments up to 90 days. It became common practice within the industry.
“But industry has picked up greatly, with coal prices and the economy, it’s time to go back to those companies paying the local businesses what they’re owed within 30-45 days again,” Mr Moran said. He said several Gladstone businesses had closed as a result and there was about $4 million in unpaid work across the region.
Mr Moran said those figures were similar in central and north Queensland.
Gladstone business Corfields Electrical waited almost a year to be paid for a mining contract and was “on the brink of closing”.
Owner Ken Corfield told the Observer in August that tens of thousands of dollars still owed was being “drip fed”. The contract was due to be finalised last December. Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen launched the Make it 30 Days campaign on October 4, aimed to encourage mining companies to pay within 30 days or less to “give local businesses a fair go”.