More jobs to go as mine faces uncertain future

 

Up to 75 per cent of the embattled New Hope Group's corporate office will be axed by the end of next month as part of a major restructure amid ongoing uncertainty about the future of its coal mine.

Voluntary redundancies have been offered at corporate headquarters, with about 90 jobs expected to be cut.

It's the fourth round of redundancies and follows 25 cuts just last month.

New Acland coal mine north of Oakey. Photo: David Martinelli
New Acland coal mine north of Oakey. Photo: David Martinelli

The Palaszczuk Government has repeatedly refused to give certainty around the company's New Acland stage three expansion because it's still before the courts.

New Hope CEO Reinhold Schmidt said the company would undergo a significant restructure, brought on by its ongoing battle for approvals.

"This is a really tough call for me and the board," he said.

"No one likes to make these sorts of decisions, but our hand has been forced."

"With the ongoing uncertainty around approvals for New Acland we have had to refocus and put the business in the best position to go forward."

 

 

The mine expansion has become an election issue, with the CFMEU mining and energy division campaigning against Labor in the marginal LNP seat of Toowoomba North.

The union used a flyer, distributed across the electorate, to urge voters to turn against Labor for not approving the stage three expansion.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was also accused of double standards late last month when she announced the approvals for the Olive Downs coal mine, despite it also being before the courts.

The LNP has pledged to approve the New Acland mine as a priority should it win this month's election.

Mr Schmidt said the changes would create a more streamlined management structure with the majority of executive positions being removed.

"We have had to make some extremely difficult decisions but, in reality, even if we were granted approvals for stage three today, we are in for a tough couple of years as we ramp up again," he said.

"The lack of support we have been given by the current Government is appalling.

"Our workforce at both Acland and in the corporate office are paying the penalty for an unfair and erratic approval system that rewards some projects and penalises others.

"Projects like New Acland should not be left to wither on the vine because of the

vagaries of the political system."

 

Originally published as More jobs to go as mine faces uncertain future



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