Extent of job cuts at Queensland Alumina unknown

Queensland Alumina Limited has followed through with the necessity of job cuts at the Barney Point refinery, however it is still unclear how many have gone.

QAL management met with workers on Tuesday to inform them of the situation, with an undisclosed number of employees laid off.

Warnings of the cuts went out in January, and the company has been on a recruitment freeze since November 2015.

Gladstone Observer reported Federal MP Ken O’Dowd said parent company Rio Tinto had told him the redundancies would be kept to a minimum.

"I thought this would be on the cards given we are suffering from a drop in commodity demand," he said.

"China supplies over 50 per cent of the world demand for aluminium and is putting Gladstone companies under the pump."

Alumina is at its lowest price in 25 years, around $US205 per tonne, after near freefall conditions in mid-2015 when the price dropped from an average of $US330 per tonne to around $US200 per tonne.

QAL general manager Mike Dunstan said the company had exhausted all other options before beginning the organisational review.

“As part of this review, this morning a number of our colleagues in staff support roles were notified that their positions will be made redundant,” he said on Tuesday.

“This decision has not been easy to make, but unfortunately is necessary in light of the continued cost pressure on our business.

“Our immediate priority is ensuring our people are treated fairly and with the respect and dignity they deserve."

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