Dysart's hammer blow

Norwich Park Mine will cease operations on May 11. The mine, near Dysart, employs about 1300 workers.
Norwich Park Mine will cease operations on May 11. The mine, near Dysart, employs about 1300 workers. Contributed

THE word on the street in the mining town of Dysart for the past couple of weeks was that Norwich Park, just 23km away, was in danger of closing.

But when the news was confirmed by BMA asset president Stephen Dumble it came as a hammer blow.

"We had heard talk about it... we were hoping they would be able to keep it open," Dysart businesswoman Elizabeth Fox said yesterday.

The owner of a pizza shop in the middle of town, about 250km west of Mackay, Ms Fox described the news as another blow for the Dysart community, which has been struggling to cope in recent years because of the two-speed economy.

Mr Dumble blamed the accumulative effects of flooding, a high Aussie dollar and industrial strike action for the closure of Norwich Park mine, which will occur on May 11.

He said the company would try to redeploy the entire mine's 1300 workers, including a permanent workforce of about 490.

Some would go to work at nearby Saraji Mine, to other BMA operations or be offered redundancies.

Mr Dumble said the company had not made the decision lightly.

"The mine has been losing money for months," he said.

Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union district president Steve Smyth said members were surprised to hear the news.

"We were only told about half and hour before the company made the official announcement," he said.

Queensland Resources Council chief executive officer Michael Roche acknowledged the difficulties the mine's closure would have on the mining town as well as the Queensland economy.

"The cessation of production at Norwich Park coal mine is clearly a concerning development for the affected workers, their families and the Dysart community," Mr Roche said.

"The situation at this Bowen Basin mine is a salutary reminder to politicians, employees, communities and a multitude of interest groups that it is simply not possible to keep loading more and more costs onto mining operations without consequences," Mr Roache said.

"It is also a stark example of the lasting legacy for the state's coal mines of the 2010-11 wet seasons."

Mr Dumble said it was a sad time for the company but the mine's closure should not be seen as an omen for further company disruption.

"A silver lining, if there is any, would be that BMA is a strong company and we will be able to source employment for our workers," he said.

Employers had worked hard to the restore the mine after it was battered by the 2011 wet season, Mr Dumble said.

He also said the open-cut coal mine had vast resources but at the moment it was more a question of whether it could operate sustainably.

Ms Fox said the closure of the mine would have a direct impact on her business.

"A lot of my staff are teenagers, they're from mining families and their parents work in the mines," she said.

"The wives of the miners all work in the town as well."

Topics:  bma closure dysart norwich park mine

Busy time for police on Cunningham Highway

Police were on scene at the accidents.

Police busy with accidents and a drink drive charge on highway

Fire fighters battle house fire in Southern Downs region

Fire appliances are on scene at Glen Aplin.

Fire fighters battle house fire at Glen Aplin

Weather perfect for today's Heavy Horse Day at Yangan

Heavy horse action down the years.

Weather perfect to heavy horse day

Local Partners

Australia Day Award nominations now open

ALL those who know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the Warwick community is encouraged to nominate them for an Australia Day Award.

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Former Warwick State High student is second

Victorian rider and former Warwick High student Lee Kimber (right) goes for his beast at the Warwick Rodeo.

Former Warwick High student to compete in national finals

13 things to do on the Southern Downs this weekend

Darcy Meek (left) is the early leader in parkrun on Saturday before being first man home.

Photo Gerard Walsh / Warwick Daily News

Here's a list of 13 things to do this weekend.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track