FIFO workers fact of life: Crean
FLY-IN, fly-out workforces are an inevitable part of Central Queensland's future mining landscape, Regional Australia and Regional Development Minister Simon Crean says.
Mr Crean said the sheer size of the resources boom meant cities like Rockhampton and Gladstone's future growth was secure, regardless of fly-in, fly-out operations.
Speaking in Rockhampton last week, Mr Crean said the government's job was to utilise the proceeds from the boom to sustain economic growth into the future.
“They (FIFO workforces) are an inevitable part of coping with the skills demands and the huge growth in the resource sector,” Mr Crean said.
“Ideally you want to build communities that are sustainable, but the numbers that are working in the resources sector are not going to be there forever because the resource boom won't last forever.
“If we're understanding there are going to be enormous pressures on that going forward what we have to manage is the sustainability of communities that are going to last and the role that fly-in fly-out plays in addressing the immediate needs of the extractive industries.”
Mining communities advocate and former Member for Fitzroy Jim Pearce said governments, at all levels, could no longer keep their heads buried in the sand to the impacts of FIFO workforces.
“Rockhampton will not prosper if we have 100% fly-in, fly-out workforces coming out of the south-east corner, NSW, Victoria or ... even China,” Mr Pearce said.
He said workers should have the option of living in the community where they worked.
Mr Pearce praised Member for Capricornia Kirsten Livermore for supporting the battle against 100% FIFO workforces.