Lyndon Keane

Banana Shire loses 86 mining jobs in downturn

NEW data shows 86 Banana Shire locals have lost their jobs in the past financial year as the mining downturn worsens.

But data collated by the Queensland Resources Council shows an extra $42million in wages is flowing into full-time employees' pockets.

In the 2013-14 financial year, 1070 residents were employed in the resources sector, while the recent financial year saw 984 employed as full-time staff.

But a QRC-commissioned report found $186m in wages filled locals' pockets in 2014-15, compared to $144m the previous year.

Mirani MP Jim Pearce, who chaired the inquiry into fly-in, fly-out work practices in regional Queensland, expects more mining jobs to be cut.

He said the industry slump was not over.

Mr Pearce said while the industry would eventually bounce back, it would never be the same.

The report's analysis found $46m more was spent on purchases from local businesses in the recent financial year.

In 2013-14, $222m was spent at 326 businesses, compared to $268m spent at 390 businesses in the 2014-15 financial year.

The report was based on a QRC survey of its full member companies, including employee salaries and wages and government payments.

QRC chief Michael Roche said the International Energy Agency had predicted the coal sector would be going strong to 2040, the year its forecasts end.

- APN NEWSDESK



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