THE sky may not be falling, but mine jobs are across the Central Highlands this week.
Glencore is cutting about 100 jobs from its Clermont Mine, New Emerald Coal is sitting in limbo with no progress being made at Blair Athol and Clermont residents have been left sitting tight, waiting for news.
Clermont Community and Business Group’s Rosemarie Haucke said she was concerned about the “domino effect” of job losses in the small community.
“The combination of who (which positions) is not known and it may not be for a couple of weeks,” she said.
“That domino effect (of job cuts) are kids at school going, partners who may be working in town, and then the loss of those people from the town.
“Their re-employability is dependent on their skills.”
A Glencore spokesperson said the job losses were the result of an internal review.
“Glencore has focused on reducing costs and maximising efficiencies across our business in the face of falling margins,” the spokesman said.
“The mining complex will continue to support a workforce of more than 600 after the changes are implemented.”
Ms Haucke said, if residential workers lost their jobs in the next round of cuts, she hoped FIFO workers might fill their place in town.
“There’s some hope I guess because the Clermont mine has the FIFO people and residential as well,” she said.
“I believe the balance is pretty even at the moment, the hope would be that if there were residents go who aren’t long-time locals… some of those FIFO could become residents.”
While Clermont Mineemployees worry over the impending job losses, successful applicants at NEC’s Blair Athol Mine have been left waiting.
NEC executive general manager Jason O’Rourke said the plans had been put back “again”.
“It’s unfortunate that we keep experiencing these delays,” he said.
“We’ve been in touch with our short-listed employees to advise them.
“While we hope they will continue to be patient with the process we understand that some of them may not be able to wait any longer and will have to seek employment elsewhere.”
Ms Haucke said it would be hard to fully understand the impact of the cuts before they happened.
“It’s just waiting,” she said.
“We don’t anticipate it will have the problem like in the past where businesses were cut out, it’s just people this time.”
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker said she was concerned about the “ripple effect” of job losses.
“Any reduction in employment has a significant negative ripple effect, socially and economically, on the local community and potentially the wider region,” Cr Baker said.
Earlier this week, Rio Tinto announced about 100 jobs would be lost at the Kestrel mine complex by the end of the month.