Campbell Newman dismisses attacks by his own MPs

PREMIER Campbell Newman is dismissing attacks by his own MPs, who are now publicly criticising the government for allowing major projects to bypass local workers.

Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson from Queensland's west said his mining towns of Springsure, Tieri, Clermont and Blackwater were "reeling" from a market slide made worse by mines using only of out-of-town commuters.

Two coal mines near Moranbah west of Mackay rely entirely on fly-in, fly-out workers.

Those living in or near the mines need not apply.

Mine owner BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance was given permission by the former Bligh Government to pull 900 new recruits for its Caval Ridge and Daunia mines exclusively from outside Central Queensland.

While in Opposition, the LNP fought 100% FIFO but embraced it once taking power so BMA could recruit only from Brisbane and Cairns.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's 100% evil," Mr Johnson said.

"We have vacant shops and empty houses."

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has previously said the 100% FIFO policy gives workers the choice on where they want to live.

Mr Vaughan disagreed.

"It's not a choice for people who invest hard-earned capital into the towns in question, whichever mine it is," he said.

The member for Gregory is the third government MP to criticise the policy.

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan this week said voters "absolutely despised" 100% FIFO.

Neighbouring member for Mirani Ted Malone previously fought the hiring practice, securing 3317 signatures on a petition against it while in Opposition.

Mr Malone has since said he remains personally against the policy.

Federal LNP members for Capricornia and Dawson - Michelle Landry and George Christensen - have also blasted the policy which they describe as discriminatory.

Mr Vaughan said it was a problem "the current government is trying to rectify".

A spokesman for Premier Newman said the government did not believe the policy needed changing.

He said the government's focus was on improving the state budget and growing the economy.

The spokesman said MPs "were totally free" to air their views.

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