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Read all the latest news from Brendan O'Connor MP


March 10, 2016

Today’s announcement that 550 Queensland Nickel workers will be made redundant is appalling.

This news will have a hugely devastating impact on these individuals, their families and the local community - our thoughts are with them tonight.

The enormous effect this decision will have on Townsville region cannot be overstated.

These workers are dedicated, highly skilled and facing significant anxiety due to the actions and decisions of Queensland Nickel's senior management.  

The uncertainty of the past few weeks will only be compounded by today’s decision, with workers having no way knowing if they will be rehired.

Labor has written to Prime Minister Turnbull this evening strongly urging him to take more action.

While some funding for career transitional assistance for affected workers has been made available, this is simply not enough.  More must be done.

Labor has urged the Prime Minister to:

  • Urgently expedite the processing of workers’ entitlements for affected workers under the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG).  Labor has requested the Prime Minister direct the Minister for Employment to exercise Ministerial discretion to ensure unpaid employment entitlements are guaranteed using FEG assistance.
  • Match Labor’s $100m commitment to support the Townsville Stadium project, which will support over 700 jobs and provide a significant boost to the local economy.
  • Fast-track funding proposals and construction of upgrades to the Bruce Highway
  • Re-establish a Local Employment Coordinator for the Townsville region
  • Work with local community to establish a Tourism Growth Strategy

Today’s news will have come as a terrible shock to many in the Townsville community - Labor stands with these workers and their families.

The Opposition Leader will be in Townsville tomorrow on a pre-arranged visit.