04 Nov HEARTACHE AS MINING JOBS LOST AT CHARTERS TOWERS
The small town community of Charters Towers has been left reeling after more than 150 jobs were lost overnight following the recent shut-down of Thalanga Mine, local State Member for Traeger Robbie Katter has said.
Mr Katter said he was alarmed to learn that Cromarty Resources’ Thalanga Mine went into administration last week, with meetings between FTI Consulting administrators and staff held on Monday.
Nicholas Lhotka, a now previous processing and maintenance manager at the mine, was acting as the representative for the employees.
“There was no direct correspondence from management regarding the meeting on Monday,” Mr Lhotka said.
“It was a case of tell your mates there’s a meeting on.
“Following the meeting, if you didn’t or were unable to attend you found out via word of mouth that you’d lost your job.
“It’s a massive blow for us employees – as far as we are aware, this is a permanent loss of job out there.
“Management had only recently been out to two pre-starts, advising both crews that there was enough money in the employee bank account to pay wages until July 2023.
“We haven’t been told much aside from that we won’t be receiving any redundancies yet, and that they’re not sure how much money will be left at the end to give us.”
Mr Lhotka said there were 178 employees on the books last month, both on-site contractors and employees of Cromarty, and today, only 16 remained.
Mr Katter said he understood the closure was a flow-on effect from a fall of ground “collapse” within the mine in August.
“Our main concern at the moment is for the workers and the direct impact this situation may cause to the local Charters Towers economy,” he said.
“Going forward now, there are obviously concerns regarding the liquidation process.
“I know my father, the Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter attended the meeting on Monday at Thalanga Mina and made direct comment to the FTI Consulting administrators that he would be keeping an eye on them.
“We at the KAP want to encourage people, particularly those employees who have been directly affected, to reach out to our offices if they feel they are being disenfranchised from the process or are not receiving adequate help from the receiver managers.”
Mr Katter said with the cost of general living constantly increasing, he was extremely empathetic of the pressures a job loss such as this could place on individuals and families.