​Confusion rises over QLD Labor FIFO policy

Confusion has arisen over QLD Labor’s FIFO policy following clarification over frontbencher Jackie Trad’s comments yesterday.

Speaking on radio, Trad stated that Labor would continue to oppose 100 per cent FIFO operations in the state, but would not review existing operations.

“You can’t go in and retrospectively change a workforce that would create a lot of chaos, but it would be for new mines and the policy is to absolutely stop the 100 per cent fly-in fly-out because there’s a lot of regional communities where locals are missing out on jobs because of that policy,” Trad said at the time.

The comments were welcomed by the Queensland Resources Council, who stated that “changing the rules under which companies have committed billions of investment dollars would be a very bad move by any government serious about attracting new investment and jobs,” QRC head Michael Roche said.

“The ALP’s clarification of its policy has lifted a weight off the shoulders of hundreds of employees from Cairns and south-east Queensland who successfully competed with many thousands of other applicants for jobs at the two mines under a FIFO model approved by the former Bligh Government.”

The region’s CFMEU also supported the move to not approve new 100 per cent FIFO operations.

It’s about time,” Smyth told Australian Mining.

“We want local jobs for local people.”

“People should be given a choice about where they want to live and work – nothing should be thrust upon them as compulsory.”

However Labor has now stepped out against 100 per cent FIFO in all forms, and will reportedly review existing operations’ employment structures and agreements.

The party realigned itself with Labor leader Annastacia Palaszczuk earlier comments on 100 per cent FIFO in Queensland, with all existing sites to be reviewed, according to the Courier Mail.

My commitment to Queenslanders living in mining communities is that under the next Labor government, 100 per cent FIFO proposals will not be approved and we will review all existing 100 per cent FIFO approvals within the first 100 days of office,” Palaszczuk said prior to the election.

Trad has now clarified: “No changes to Labor’s FIFO policy. 100 per cent FIFO mines near regional towns will be reviewed. We want locals to be able to work in local mines.”

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