Fears of 100 per cent FIFO at Carmichael breed resistance

The Queensland FIFO Inquiry has fueled debate about the staffing of the prospective Carmichael mine, with Katter party MP Shane Knuth calling on regional Queenslanders to lobby against 100 per cent FIFO policy.

The Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) member for Damrymple said FIFO should be an option, not a requirement.

Knuth said a 100 per cent FIFO workforce at Adani's proposed $14 billion Galilee Basin mine, coupled with the same policy already in place at the Caval Ridge and Daunia mines in the Bowen Basin, would be devastating.

"Our communities have been smashed because of past 100% FIFO arrangements," he said.

Knuth said school leavers in his electorate, from towns like Moranbah and Dysart, could not get work in local mines.

The MP has also criticised other northern centres in Queensland for proposing to become FIFO hubs.

Dawson MP George Christenson has seized on the opportunity to suggest Mackay as a hub for FIFO travel, voicing his wish for local air travel provider North Queensland Airports to secure the FIFO tender.

"I would dearly love to see (it awarded to) North Queensland Airports," Christensen said.

"That would really align Mackay with Carmichael.

"But regardless of who gets the work I hope synergies can be found with the Mackay airport."

With the tender completed in December 2014, the successful company has not yet been announced, however Adani have said the decision will be made in the coming months.

CFMEU district president Steve Smyth said it was important that Adani ensure opportunity and choice for workers at the mine.

“There are communities in close proximity to this proposed mine like Moranbah and Clermont, to name a few, that can provide workers and services,” he said.

“There’s no difference to a worker driving from Mackay to Blackwater, or from Rockhampton to Blackwater or Emerald; this has happened since the 1990s in the Bowen Basin.

Smyth said the CFMEU wanted to ensure that regional Queensland is not left out of the potential benefits from the Carmichael project.

“Governments and companies need to understand that there’s more to Queensland than the south east,” he said.

“Here is an opportunity to boost jobs and again kickstart this part of Queensland.

“Further dialogue and discussions with all industry stakeholders is required if you want the best outcomes.”

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