Release type: Media Release

Date:

Government welcomes BHP support for Illawarra BlueScope workers

Ministers:

Senator the Hon Chris Evans
Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations
Leader of the Government in the Senate

Minister for Jobs and Workplace Relations, Senator Chris Evans, today welcomed BHP Billiton’s announcement that it will support workers directly affected by BlueScope Steel’s decision to cut 800 jobs in Illawarra.

Senator Evans praised the decision of BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal to establish an online job centre to take applications from BlueScope Steel workers who are interested in working in the coal industry.

Senator Evans welcomed the announcement that BHP Billiton is offering opportunities to get people back into the local workforce.

“BHP Billiton Illawarra Coal is planning to employ up to 50 people across a range of positions, while there are also 750 job vacancies at its Queensland coal operations and 600 in Western Australia on iron ore operations,” Senator Evans said.

“For those BlueScope workers who decide to relocate for employment, the Gillard Government’s BlueScope Steel support package includes a grant of up to $6000 for relocation and another $3000 for those with dependent children.”

Senator Evans said he encouraged other local businesses with jobs available to offer a similar service.

“BlueScope’s decision to cut 800 jobs at Illawarra will not only impact those workers who are directly affected, but also the wider community,” he said.

“I encourage all companies who are in a position to offer assistance to do so.”