CFMEU to take on Trad
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.