MP Bob Katter has had his say in the Queensland FIFO debate, calling on mining companies to change the way they do business.
The notorious north Queensland representative spoke to the Queensland Parliamentary Committee in Mackay yesterday, in favour of local workforces.
“We want a restoration of the laws that existed in this state for a good 40 years that said you will base the workforce locally,” he said.
"Now we're not saying you base it at the mine, but if you have a mine outside of Cloncurry then you base the workforce there."
Katter said many resources communities had infrastructure to cater for double their population, and were easily able to support additional local workforces.
The member for Kennedy said each mine should have a local workforce, and that workers should live in the town if they want to work at a new mine.
"If you want a job there, you go there," he said.
"Our little towns are continuing to die and we're not going to subject our workers to a situation where they have no family life.”
Chairman Jim Pearce told the Mackay hearing that issues about choice of lifestyle and mental health were high on the inquiry’s priority list.
"Submissions indicate that mental health is a major concern," he said.
"There's a lot of people out there that have seriously been impacted on, by the behaviour of mining companies and the way they're overlooking the local people for work."
The hearings are open to all members of the public wishing to speak or hear others on the issue of FIFO workforces, and individual submissions will be reported back to Queensland Parliament.
Today’s public hearing is held in Dysart, at the Dysart Civic Centre until 11am, and in Middlemount at the Middlemount Bowls Club from 2:30-4:30pm.
Hearings will run for the rest of the week: See program for details.
Image: Daily Mercury