New state government legislation against 100% FIFO workforces will help ‘bring balance back into the community’, according to Central Highlands (QLD) Housing Company independent director Lisa Caffery.
The housing company, a not-for-profit organisation owned by the Central Highlands Regional Council, has strongly advocated for the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill in the past, making submissions to both the FIFO Parliamentary Inquiry and the Queensland Government.
‘The passing of this bill is fantastic news for the Central Highlands,’ Ms Caffery said.
‘It brings back some balance into the community and gives people confidence that they can live locally and get a job here.
‘We recognise that strong and sustainable regional communities start with a safe, affordable and stable place for people to call home. Unfortunately the employment practices of many resource companies have favoured a FIFO or drive-in-drive-out arrangement, creating instability in our region.
‘This has had a detrimental impact on our permanent population base. The Central Highlands (QLD) Housing Company certainly isn’t anti-FIFO, but we’re pro-choice and I think that’s what this bill restores.’
Ms Caffery said the company strongly supported any government policy that would re-calibrate the employment equation in favour of local workers.
‘We need strong rural and regional economies and to do that we need a strong population,’ she said.
‘We need people in small business, school teachers, nurses, doctors – we need families to come to these communities and contribute and to volunteer. Obviously we think this is a great place to live and we want others to have the opportunity to find that out for themselves.’
The new requirements affect large resource projects with 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125 km radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents.
For the full bill head to www.legislation.qld.gov.au