The Central Queensland town that refuses to die
A LONG-TIME Bluff resident says the small mining town in Central Queensland will never die despite recent job cuts.
Rail giant Aurizon announced 29 jobs to be slashed in the town, as part of over 300 to go in CQ including at Rockhampton, Gladstone and Stanwell depots.
The resident, who wishes to not be named due to connections with Aurizon, said unless they bring in remote control trains, the Bluff depot would always need a local workforce present.
"This will not be the end of Bluff," the resident said.
"There will always be a need for a changing depot here. They would need to have new trains that run themselves in order to shut this depot.
"Whether it will affect stores or not we don't know. The railway can't run without the guys, they work on their days off already.
"We don't understand the cuts at all."
The resident did say the mood was grim in town.
Anxious workers were waiting nervously until the end of the week when redundancy letters were expected to be handed out.
"It is all still a bit uncertain at the moment," the resident said.
"Nobody quite knows who is going and who is not.
Aurizon has asked for expressions of interest for redundancies but the letters were supposed to come out Thursday.
The resident said they only knew of a handful of people were thinking of taking the voluntary redundancy.
"It is scary. People are waiting to get the tap on the shoulder."
Since the resident's family arrived in Bluff some three decades or more ago, the town was vastly different.
Bluff State School was thriving with 144 kids at the school. Today, there are 16.
The resident, while concerned for the workers awaiting their fate, said the town will kick on and survive.
An Aurizon spokesperson said they "appreciate the changes to its operations are difficult for those affected".
"We have engaged with community leaders and stakeholders on the changes, and confirmed that Aurizon will continue to have a presence in the Bluff community," the spokesperson said.
"Following the proposed changes, we will still employ more than 2,000 people across Central Queensland (Gladstone to Mackay and west). Aurizon will work closely with individuals as the phased changes are implemented through to mid-2018."