Pages from The Observer in previous years.
Pages from The Observer in previous years.

QAL job cuts 'not a good thing for Gladstone': leaders react

COMMUNITY leaders have responded to the news that Queensland Alumina Limited is laying off an undisclosed number of workers. 

Council CEO Stuart Randle, Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, and the manufacturing union branch secretary all unable to confirm how many workers will lose their jobs.     

Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Stuart Randle

Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Stuart Randle said he was not aware of how many QAL workers had been or were likely to be affected in yesterday's lay-offs.

"While news of any terminations is disappointing, we will have to wait and see how many workers are affected before commenting further or comment on how significant the impacts will be," Mr Randle said.

He said the council was aware world commodity prices had placed extraordinary pressure on a number of the major industries in the region.

"Council's role in economic development is primarily to facilitate development through the creation of a positive investment environment," Mr Randle said.

"We will continue to be involved in the broad range of economic development initiatives that have seen the Gladstone region continue to be the fastest growing region in the state over the last three years."

AMWU branch secretary Rohan Webb

Australian Manufacturing Union branch secretary Rohan Webb said his union had had nothing confirmed about whether its members were included as part of this lay-off.

"We believe it is support staff who will be affected," he said.

"Regardless, this is not a good thing for Gladstone.

"The entire commodities sector is suffering from a downturn in demand.

"There are a lot of pressures being placed on not only Gladstone companies but those operating in the Surat and Bowen Basins as well."

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd

MP Ken O'Dowd said while he didn't have any details, he had been told by Rio Tinto that they would be keeping numbers impacted to a minimum.

"I thought this would be on the cards given we are suffering from a drop in commodity demand," he said.

"China (now) supplies over 50% of the world demand for aluminium and is putting Gladstone companies under the pump."

He said he hoped Rio would target those who could take a redundancy package rather than families.

Related: AMWU Rohan Webb responds to job cuts

Related: Gladstone Regional Council CEO Stuart Randle responds to job cuts

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