Workers at BP’s Brisbane refinery seem unlikely to get state government help finding new jobs.
The oil giant says it will halt operations at its Bulwer Island plant by mid-2015, with 355 jobs likely to go.
Premier Campbell Newman says he’s disappointed, but has stopped short of offering government assistance to sacked workers.
“My thoughts are with the 300 or so employees and their families,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
“I call on them (BP) to properly look after the 300 employees and their families in terms of transitioning to other jobs.”
Mr Newman’s office later declined to say whether the state would chip in for re-training BP staff.
Comment has been sought from the opposition.
Australian Workers Union state secretary Ben Swan said the announcement was out of the blue and without consultation.
“For workers to learn that their world has been tipped upside down is a devastating blow,” Mr Swan, who’s heading to the refinery to speak to workers, told AAP.
He said it would be difficult for workers to find new jobs and both state and federal governments needed to help them.
Mr Swan said he couldn’t say exactly what assistance was needed until he’d spoken with those affected later on Wednesday.
He added that governments don’t have a plan in place to protect jobs in the manufacturing industry.
“Companies are leaving this country in droves and very little is being done to retain that capacity,” Mr Swan said.