15 January 2015 – Joint statement – Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines The Honourable Anthony Lynham
Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland The Honourable Coralee O’Rourke
Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs The Honourable Grace Grace –
The Palaszczuk Government has mobilised a Rapid Response Team to assist 237 workers made redundant today at Queensland Nickel’s Yabulu refinery north of Townsville.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the rapid response team would connect workers with services to help secure their rights and entitlements, along with other services including financial advice and employment assistance.
“237 hardworking Queenslanders have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and that’s a terrible way to start 2016,” Dr Lynham said.
“Our Rapid Response Team is already out there on the ground in North Queensland, connecting workers with a range of support services.
“These are tough time for these workers and their families, but there is help at hand and we’re on an all-out effort to give those affected the support they need.
“There are a range of services available to affected workers from the Queensland and Australian governments as well as Townsville City Council.
“Whether it’s putting people in touch with counselling services, helping them secure financial advice or assisting them to secure their entitlements, we’re here to help.”
Employment Minister Grace Grace said Queensland Nickel was a private company that made its own commercial decisions.
“Nevertheless, we won’t stop until every worker, and every family affected, has been given the support they need on the path back to employment,” she said.
“But I want to make it very clear that the State Government expects Queensland Nickel to honour all its commitments to its workers, to ensure they all receive their full rights and entitlements.”
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke said the Yabulu redundancies reaffirmed the importance of the Palaszczuk Government’s pro-jobs agenda.
“We’re investing more than $540 million in infrastructure in the Townsville region this financial year, and this is supporting around 1,500 jobs,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“The Queensland Government also employs more than 14,000 people in Townsville, and they’re the heart and soul of the local community.
“My message to affected workers and their families is simple: you’re not alone and we’re with you every step of the way.”
Kathy Schaefer, Acting Director General of State Development will lead the team, which will be on the ground in Townsville this afternoon.
Affected workers can call 13QGOV (13 74 68) for information about the range of support services that may be available to them.