A mining company controlled by the Chinese government is in talks to buy a massive stake in Newcastle Port, the world’s biggest coal port. If successful, this will give China significant control over all aspects of our port’s operations.
Before we even get to the security risk, this poses a direct threat to Australian jobs.
Yancoal, the Chinese company that wants to buy the stake, has a terrible record of mismanaging their business and then shedding workers to make back their money.
Just two years ago they laid off 225 miners in the Hunter Valley’s Abel and Austar mines. That was half the workforce. In 2016 they cut 92 jobs at the Donaldson mine, out of a workforce of 103. This company hasn’t made a profit in years, and serious questions have been raised about the state of its finances.
The Sydney Morning Herald caught up with one of the guys who’d worked in the Austar mine last year. Here’s what he said:
“Some of the other guys who were made redundant haven’t worked since 2014. They are having a really tough time.
Some of them have worked 30 years as coal miners and have families to support.
There are a few electricians who lost their jobs who are now working at the [Yancoal] mine as contractors for less pay and no job security.”
The Chinese government aren’t interested in running Yancoal well. What they care about is securing high-quality Aussie coal to benefit their strategic interests. If this deal goes through, we all know who will be paying the price.
To protect local jobs and guarantee Australia’s security, the Government has to block this deal!
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