ISAAC Regional Mayor Anne Baker, who has been fiercely advocating for an end to forced fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) practices is celebrating a landmark win.
Yesterday the Palaszczuk Government delivered on its election commitment to legislate against 100% fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces on large resource projects near regional communities.
The historic bill which was passed in parliament will prohibit 100% FIFO workers for operational workforces and act to prohibit discrimination in recruitment against local workers.
Cr Baker said the bill was a great step forward, signifying a clear intent of government putting mining communities and regions back on a level playing field.
"We have won the right for people to make their own living choices, no longer is where you live a condition of where you work,” she said.
"This bill will also provide genuine ongoing opportunity for communities to have a seat at the table on managing social impacts.
"I want to sincerely thank the community for their ongoing steadfast support, and for working tirelessly to advocate for genuine choice for all.”
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill was the first ever bill to address FIFO issues.
"This first ever Bill to address FIFO strikes a balanced and considered approach that will deliver positive social and economic outcomes for resource communities across Queensland,” he said.
"A major change is the new provision in the Anti-Discrimination Act that will prevent companies discriminating against locals in the future recruitment of workers and allow FIFO workers to move into the local community if they want to.
"The bill includes a recruitment hierarchy that prioritises recruitment from local and regional communities, followed by recruitment of workers who will live in a regional community.”
The new requirements affect large resource projects with 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125km radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents - numbers reached after widespread community consultation.
"The independent Coordinator-General will have additional powers to administer the bill and enforce compliance. This includes requiring proponents to produce a workforce management plan and setting approval conditions on these plans on projects where the 100 per cent FIFO prohibition is contravened,” Dr Lynham said.
Cr Baker said she acknowledged there was still a lot of work ahead to maximise the fundamental intent of the bill.
"We welcome the ongoing opportunity to genuinely influence outcomes for our communities alongside government and industry,” Cr Baker said.
"The way we see it, today the rules have been set, and our communities now have a seat at the table.”