FIFO workers prevent oversupply in mining regions

Temporary fly-in fly-out workers are helping prevent unsustainable growth in mining communities, according to research by the Reserve Bank.

Property Observer reports the research paper focused on the Pilbara and Bowen Basin, and said because of the rise in FIFO work towns were unlikely to see an oversupply of housing and infrastructure once the mining boom finished.

"Once the mining investment phase comes to an end, the utilisation of FIFO labour is likely to fall as labour demand in these areas declines," it said.

"To the extent that much of the extra demand for labour in remote locations is temporary, an advantage of FIFO arrangements is that they can help limit the extent of housing and infrastructure required to service the workforce, and therefore reduce the extent of unused capacity when the boom ultimately passes."

FIFO work is currently the subject of a Federal Government inquiry, and mining companies have drawn criticism from community members for their focus on temporary workers.

Earlier this month the Australian Medical Association WA branch called on the Government to produce an interim report on the inquiry.

The AMA said the Government needed to release its findings quickly because communities were already struggling with FIFO and there was a risk the mining boom would be over before the report was published.

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