Oaky North employees outside Glencore's Brisbane headquarters.
Oaky North employees outside Glencore's Brisbane headquarters. Geoff Egan

Investigation into alleged CFMEU picket child rape threats

THE investigation into the alleged threats to rape children made by an Oaky North coal miner is expected to be finalised soon.

The investigation started after explosive security reports revealed CFMEU protesters threatened to rape children and assault contractors who refused to stand alongside the 190 workers in their industrial dispute against mine owner Glencore.

Tensions at the mine have been escalating since May and workers have now been locked out of the mine for 116 days as both the workers and Glencore can not come to an agreement over pay rates and conditions.

Both sides of politics condemned the alleged behaviour of the workers; Premier Annastasia Palaszcuk said: "it (was) not acceptable for anyone to use threatening behaviour".

Now the only police officer in the nearby town of Tieri, 300km South West of Mackay, has his hands full monitoring the behaviour of the men and their visitors.

"I am currently doing an investigation into the claims and expect it to be finished soon," Senior Constable David Pratt said.

He said the men at the picket line told him that if someone was found to have made the alleged threats, they should be charged.

This was the view of one of the workers but he said none of the men heard the comment or knew who said it.

Snr Cst Pratt also said two picketing workers had been charged, however not for threatening and abusive behaviour.

They had been charged with driving without due care and attention.

"I have had my issues (with the workers) but in the scheme of things it hasn't been too bad considering there are 190," he said.

He said the main issue was the behaviour of people who weren't from Oaky North mine but had travelled the three hours west to support the workers.

"(Apart from that) I get on well with them," he said.

"But they are getting angrier."

That is not expected to change, on Thursday the second proposed enterprise agreement was voted down 170 to 2, meaning the CFMEU and Glencore had not made any ground.

"When you have been there for 115 days, and you go back and give another 99 per cent no vote you're not giving up any time soon," CFMEU district vice president Chris Brodsky said.

A Glencore spokesman said the outcome of the latest EA ballot at Oaky North was not unexpected, given the ongoing campaign of misleading and incorrect information from the CFMEU.

"It is disappointing, however, that an offer containing numerous concessions requested by the union in addition to a cumulative wage increase of 8.24 per cent was not considered sufficient to expedite a return to work for our employees," he said.

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