Member for Warren-Blackwood is calling on the State Government to come clean over rumors that they are putting pressure on Talison Lithium in Greenbushes to employ up to 350 workers from Collie to the detriment of locals.
The expansion of a third lithium processing plant and a tailing retreatment facility is currently underway and promises to increase its workforce by approximately 500 workers.
“I am fully supportive and commend Talison Lithium on its expansion and its endeavors to create many employment opportunities for local people,” Mr Redman said.
“The mining company creates a solid employment base for the region and provides an economic boost for the surrounding towns as well as Western Australia as a whole.
“Importantly, lithium feeds into the expanding battery market and the emission reductions that come with it having a key role in addressing climate change.
“However, what I find concerning are the rumors the State Government is trying to influence Talison to allocate 350 of those jobs to people living in Collie. This would be disastrous for workers as they try to secure work closer to home avoiding the drive in-drive out situation which has its challenges on mental health and family separation.
“I applaud the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes and surrounding Shires on their plans to create the infrastructure and facilities to welcome an increase in Talison’s workforce. It is essential that a greater majority of its workforce has the chance to live in a community and not a work-camp on site.
“I fully understand the possible need for a work-camp during the construction phase, however, the residential workforce must be based from local communities to ensure their long term viability.
“With more than $20 million in grants being available for future employment opportunities in Collie, it is a shame that the Government is allegedly robbing ‘Peter to pay Paul’ when it comes to the livelihood of locals.
“It is time the State Government declares its hand in attempting to snatch and grab valuable local jobs for its Collie electorate.”