100% FIFO mines to be reviewed by new Queensland Government

The new Queensland Government has confirmed it will review all 100 per cent FIFO operations in the state.

The state’s new mining minister, Anthony Lynham, said the review would encompass existing mines, and ensure the practice is not adopted for new mines.

"We're reviewing the previous 100 per cent FIFO mines (Daunia and Caval Ridge) and we are also making sure we don't have 100 per cent FIFO for new mines," Lynham said.

He added that the review would be conducted "as soon as possible".

The use of wholly FIFO workforces has been a contentious issue in Queensland, with critics saying the system locks locals out of the recruitment process.

In Central Queensland, BHP Billiton caused community angst when it announced its newest mines, Duania and Caval Ridge, would operate with a 100% FIFO workforce.

Lynham said he planned to meet with mining companies in order to discuss “solutions to this problem”.

"Mining companies are reasonable people. Just from my previous negotiations with them, they are in fact willing to sit down and listen,” he said.

The region’s CFMEU boss Stephen Smyth supports 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, Queensland Resources Council CEO Michael Roche has defended the use of a transient workforce and doesn’t want to see mine approvals changed.

“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,” Roche said.

BHP said its  Daunia and Caval Ridge mines employ over 245 people from Cairns, with a further 800 people from across Ipswich, Logan, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.

"The sites have an extremely diverse workforce, with over 200 females, 32 Indigenous and over 40 per cent who are new to the mining industry working on site,” the company said.

"BMA is committed to continuing to support our local communities, with the Daunia and Caval Ridge mines supported by over 200 Mackay and Moranbah-based contractors.

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