VILLAGE LIFE: Blackwater’s Village Camp, which has attracted some criticism.
VILLAGE LIFE: Blackwater’s Village Camp, which has attracted some criticism. Contributed

Miners forced to live in rooms smaller than some jail cells

MINERS are being forced to live in rooms smaller than some jail cells.

That's according to the CFMEU's Camp Audit Report released today which claimed Blackwater's Village Camp squeezed three rooms into a tiny 3.5m by 8m block.

It said a typical room in Civeo Village Dysart measured 3.1m by 3.6m.

CFMEU Queensland president Stephen Smyth said room sizes varied throughout the camps, but some were 'dogboxes'.

But cramped conditions were only the start of a long list of concerns raised in the report, which highlight the need for regulation and enforcement across Central Queensland's mining camps.

There are 69 camps and about 32,000 beds in the Bowen Basin, but no minimum standard enforced across them.

According to the report, this had led to almost prison-like living conditions.

One worker accused the company of going through the contents of his room, and said they called it a 'room inspection'.

Another said he needed permission from management just to leave site during his downtime.

At Eureka Village Camp, it claimed workers had to be evacuated due to the smell of the sewerage system, and were kept awake by noisy sirens from mining equipment.

No access to rooms after a final shift meant it was hard for some DIDO workers to rest before driving home. Even though workers were far from home, 42% of commuting miners had no phone access at camp and 41% had no access to Facebook or social media.

But Civeo said they did not conduct room inspections, or restrict guests' movement.

Eureka Village Camp owner ESS said they upgraded sewerage plant equipment recently, but never evacuated residents and never received complaints about noise.

The Village Camp Blackwater did not comment.


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