I’m in the middle of a town on a remote stretch of desert in eastern Queensland, and the sky is a pale grey.
It’s the middle days of a cold winter.
The temperature is just below zero, and it’s the last of a long period of cold, snow and drought.
“The air is cold, the water is cold,” says one miner.
“And the mining industry is struggling.”
I’m at the entrance of the town of Minefield in the remote Goldfields, a tiny community in the heart of the Galilee Basin.
“Minefield is the worst place to work,” says Chris Rizzuto, who has been at the mine since 2007.
Minefield has a population of just two, with around 400 people, and one of the worst-paid jobs in Australia. “
When you’ve got so much money, and you’ve had so much success, why would you not want to be happy?”
Minefield has a population of just two, with around 400 people, and one of the worst-paid jobs in Australia.
Mining jobs in Queensland were estimated to cost the state an estimated $2.8 billion last year.
“We have the worst wages in Australia,” says Rizzulo.
“So, you know, there’s a lot of frustration out there, which I guess is the whole reason why people come to mine.” “
And then there’s Chris Rizos’ wife, Joanne, who’s a nurse. “
So, you know, there’s a lot of frustration out there, which I guess is the whole reason why people come to mine.”
And then there’s Chris Rizos’ wife, Joanne, who’s a nurse.
“I was just thinking, ‘I’m going to get out of here’,” she says.
“She’s a real person.
She’s a hardworking, hard-working person.”
Mining jobs are one of many jobs in the Goldfields that are under threat, with the state budget currently being slashed by more than half in just five years.
It comes as the Federal Government announces a series of mining tax concessions to help the industry cope with the economic downturn.
Mining Jobs Australia’s chief executive, Chris Ritzos, said the tax breaks would help mining companies avoid “significant cost increases” and that it was essential for the industry to remain competitive.
“Our mining tax concession program will help to create jobs and boost revenue for the state and the Australian economy by providing a low-tax, low-cost way of financing mining activities and helping to secure the long-term prosperity of the Queensland economy,” Mr Ritzes said.
But for Joanne Rizzo, it seems that her husband’s advice may be more important than the tax break itself. “
With the Queensland Government now facing budget cuts, our mining tax program is critical for Queensland’s future economic future.”
But for Joanne Rizzo, it seems that her husband’s advice may be more important than the tax break itself.
“Well, I think we’re not that far behind him,” she says, smiling.
“He’s always saying, ‘You need to get up and do it’.” Mining jobs boom, mining tax cuts hit ‘hard’ Chris Riazos, a former miner himself, says he believes that the Queensland mining industry’s “business model” has been on the decline since 2007, with mining being one of Australia’s fastest-growing industries.
“People are very disillusioned,” he says.
“[With] all the mining tax breaks, people are just going, ‘Where’s my money?'”
Chris Ruzos says the tax benefits are a way of helping the industry survive.
But Chris RIZOS is not alone in feeling the pinch. “
For me, it was always about getting my money out there and doing it, but when the Government was doing it right and they weren’t taking it away, I just felt like I was taking something away from me.”
But Chris RIZOS is not alone in feeling the pinch.
The mining industry has been hit hard by the impact of the mining taxes cut, with a number of mining companies going out of business and some mines closing.
“Some companies have actually closed down because they’ve had to do so much business, they’ve lost money and they’ve got to sell,” says Mr Rizosc.
“There’s no way that I could stay in the industry.”
Mining taxes cut for Queensland: what you need to know Source: ABC News | Duration: 2min 39sec Topics: mining-industry,business-economics-and-finance,state-parliament,mining-rural,mining,mining_donut_donuts,mining More stories from Queensland