Wage boost for Southern Downs miners despite job cuts

JOB cuts have not stopped a $1 million increase in the total wages of Southern Downs miners, a report has found.

Data collated by the Queensland Resources Council found nine full-time employees lost their jobs over the past financial year, from 70 in 2013-14 to 61 in 2014-15.

But there was an increase in wages from $7 million in 2013-14 to $8 million in the most recent financial year.

Mirani MP Jim Pearce , who chaired the inquiry into fly-in, fly-out work practices in regional Queensland, expects more jobs to be axed.

He said the mining slump was not over.

Mr Pearce said while the industry would eventually bounce back, it would never be the same.

A QRC-commissioned analysis has reported $5 million was spent at 19 local businesses in the 2013-14 financial year.

In 2014-15, $16 million was spent at 45 businesses.

The report was based on a QRC survey of its full member companies' employee salaries and wages, business purchases, community contributions and government payments.

QRC chief Michael Roche said the International Energy Agency had predicted the coal sector would be going strong to 2040, the year its forecasts end.

"While we are now settling back into a more normal phase where operational expenditure dominates, the jobs created, the spending dollars generated and the royalties of $2.1 billion paid to the Queensland Government are still pivotal to the strength of our economy," he said.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said while the sector was suffering, the $2 billion in royalties it generated was significant.

He also maintained the government would not hike up mining royalties.

- APN NEWSDESK



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