The State Opposition has announced mining industry policies placing tighter controls on the sector’s roll-out of automation.
Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington said she would not accept mining companies stripping jobs from regional communities and replacing them with remote-controlled operation centres in a capital city, interstate or overseas.
She said an LNP government would require the Coordinator-General to call-in approvals if a resource company proposed to cut jobs through automation at an existing mine site.
It would also require automation assessments for new resource projects.
Stipulations would include that the control centres established to support automation must be located in nearby communities and that resource companies must provide education and training pathways in nearby communities to support technological transition.
“Every industry has to innovate and make use of technology, but the obligation to support local jobs is non-negotiable,” Ms Frecklington said.
The LNP’s policy announcement follows BMA’s decision to introduce autonomous haul trucks at its Goonyella Riverside mine, near Moranbah.
It is due to start in the first half of 2020 and will see the staged conversion of up to 86 Komatsu trucks to an autonomous fleet over two years.
It is understand a control room is being built on-site to support that initiative, with about 50 people to be employed there.
Announcing its plans late last year, BMA said there would be no forced employee redundancies at Goonyella Riverside as a result of the decision.
The Queensland Resources Council said the industry was committed to working with Federal, State and Local Governments to ensure resources communities stayed strong and received a fair share of the wealth they generated.
“The Queensland resources sector is one of the major economic partners with regional communities across the state,” chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.
“It is a two-way partnership with resources companies creating jobs and supporting local business, and in return the sector values the high level of skills and expertise in mining communities.”