DISGUSTED: Mine worker Phillip Wells.
DISGUSTED: Mine worker Phillip Wells. Chris Ison ROK260617cmine1

'Sick in the guts': Collapsed CQ miners' payout halved

IT HAS been 62 days since coal worker Phillip Wells was told the central Queensland mine he had worked at for seven years would close down.

Since then, Mr Wells and most of the 180 other workers have not seen a cent of their entitlements.


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The former Caledon-owned Cook Colliery miner worries he soon won't be able to pay his mortgage or his bills.

In the latest blow in the administration of Caledon Coal Pty Ltd, Mr Wells and his workmates recently learned they could receive about half of their leave entitlements.

"We know we're not getting our jobs back, we know we've been sacked," Mr Wells said.

"What I want the public to know is ... we're after our entitlements, and we want them paid and paid in full."

The 53-year-old said it made workers "sick in the guts" that senior management will receive their full entitlements while workers will be paid 52 cents to the dollar.

The details were revealed in a creditor's report released after the last meeting with Caledon's administrators PPB Advisory.

An operator in development of seven years at Cook Colliery, Mr Wells said it was the camaraderie with his workmates that kept the underground mine alive.

"The camaraderie was really good, it was the blokes that made the place work," he said.

"We didn't have the flash stuff but we made it work."

Mr Wells said he and his workmates were victims of "corporate crime".

Speaking publicly about his disgust, he said the Chinese state-owned company Guangdong Rising Assset Managment that owned Caledon needed to be held accountable.

"When you've tidied up your mess and paid your men, they have a corporate responsibility," the Yeppoon dad said.

"To have our entitlements cut in half yet head office gets paid the full dollar, that doesn't sound right in any language to me."

The long-time mine worker said he was a voice for the workers, but after he first spoke to the media about Cook Colliery's closure he was told by union members and colleagues he had ruined any chance of finding another job in the industry.

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