FIFO ruining regional towns: Katter

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Federal MP Bob Katter says fly-in fly-out workers are destroying the social fabric of rural communities and hurting local businesses.

In a submission to the House of Representatives FIFO inquiry Katter said successive governments had failed to address the issues posed by transient workers.

"The prevalence of so-called fly-in, fly-out staff … is unequivocally destroying the social and economic fabric of the very communities which governments rely on to derive much of this nation’s wealth," he said.

"Long absences of a parent take a significant toll on families, particularly children, and on the FIFO workers themselves, who suffer from the isolation from family and friends.”

According to AAP Katter said mining companies should be forced to use local workers and governments should return 20 per cent of royalties to mining regions.

The news comes as Katter and his QLD leader Aidan McLindon rallied with radio identity Alan Jones and Greens senator Larissa Waters against New Hope’s New Acland expansion.

Jones said the protest marked a “day of national shame” for Australia, and blamed coal and coal seam gas for threatening good security.

New Hope chief operating officer Bruce Denney said the New Acland expansion should not be used for political opportunism.

He said an invitation was sent out by New Hope to protestors to “sensibly” discuss the issues but the invitation was declined.

“New Hope’s door is always open to local residents and others who have any issues with our operations,” he said.

The New Acland open cut mine is located 150 kilometres west of Brisbane and the company is currently proposing a third expansion to the project.

Under the expansion plans the company has committed to returning mining lease areas to agricultural and conservation uses.

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