$5m fund to help Straddie sand miners
The Queensland government will set up a $5 million fund to support sand miners who will lose their jobs when mining ends on North Stradbroke Island.
Sand mining company Sibelco will phase-out its operations on the island by 2019, however the government has flagged a $28 million strategy to transition the workers into other fields, primarily eco-tourism.
Employment Minister Grace Grace said the scheme would cover the workers currently employed by the mine.
"At the moment there's 22 workers who are directly affected so far ... they will be able to access the entitlements under this workers assistance package," Ms Grace said.
"Long-term there's an additional just over 100 workers that are currently working with Sibelco and they'll be affected some time within the transition period."
Under the workers' assistance fund, former Sibelco employees will have access to grants including $2000 for job training, $5000 in housing assistance or commuting subsidy, and dislocation assistance.
"This package also involves a review after six months, and we're looking to review it to make it a living document ... to see if we can refine it, make it better," Ms Grace said.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls slammed the fund as inadequate, coming months after many workers had already lost their jobs.
"Most workers will receive less than $4000 under Labor's inadequate compensation scheme, which won't replace a job, pay the mortgage or put food on the table," Mr Nicholls said.
"Local businesses, workers and their families will pay the price for Labor's grab for green votes."