FIFO is a privilege, not a right: Mirani MP

IT'S about the people, the small mining communities, their struggling small businesses and the impacts 100% FIFO is having on them and regional cities like Mackay.

Mirani MP Jimmy Pearce, as the new chairman of the State Government's Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee that will begin investigating the issue, took a strong interest in yesterday's CFMEU Mackay forum to discuss the impacts of mining companies operating 100% FIFO.

"It's a privilege for mining companies to come in. It's not a right. It's about maximising returns and employment to the communities," Mr Pearce said.

"In recent years, mining companies simply put their head down and ignored the impacts they are having on local communities.

"I've been in the region over 30 years and never seen the regions in such a big mess, their communities.

"Collinsville is on its knees, Dysart, Moranbah in a terrible state. There are 3000 empty houses across the Bowen Basin."

Following the forum, CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Steve Smyth said there was "broad agreement" that compulsory 100% FIFO must end; workers at existing 100% FIFO operations must be given job security; FIFO workers should be given choice and incentives to move locally; and new jobs at existing 100% FIFO operations should be open to local workers.

Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams said pressure must be applied to the State Government to ban 100% FIFO at new mines but it was hard to "unscramble the egg" on existing mine operations.



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