The Central Highlands Regional Council has today welcomed new Queensland Government legislation against 100 per cent fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces on large resource projects near regional communities.
The Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill was passed by the State Parliament overnight, prohibiting discrimination in recruitment against local workers and enhancing the social impact assessment process.
Council’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Mason said while all workers have a right to flexibility and choice about where they live, FIFO work arrangements posed a real threat to the social fabric of rural and regional communities across the Central Highlands.
‘We have always supported and respected the autonomy of mining companies in conducting their business, however council strongly supports this new law,’ he said.
‘Working families are the backbone of our local economy. But unfortunately the reality is that the proliferation of FIFO work practices, including financial incentives, has put a severe dent in the number of young families relocating to our area.
‘This bill prioritises recruitment from the local and regional community, encouraging more permanent residents. This in turn means more houses occupied in our towns, more children in our schools and playing sport, more workers in a variety of industries and overall more investment in the region we love.’
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.
The law is part of the state government’s strong and sustainable resource communities policy framework that came out of a Parliamentary Committee inquiry into FIFO work practices in the resource sector.