The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia’s Goldfields region is seeking submissions on a policy which aims to provide guidance on potential accommodation development applications, including for a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce.
Mayor John Bowler said while the policy discourages construction of worker camps for FIFO employees and contractors, it provides a clear framework for assessing workforce accommodation proposals and will help build a more sustainable local community and economy.
The objective of the policy is to manage the development of workforce accommodation with a longer-term aim to maximise the residential workforce and ensure that, where workforce accommodation is provided, it is designed appropriately and contributes to Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s vision to be a place people call home.
The council will undertake a consultative process that will guide the policy measures including time limited approvals, need for accommodation, location, design and community integration.
The draft policy indicates proposed facilities would undergo a Social Impact Assessment and require a Social Impact Management Plan to identify and mitigate negative effects to the community.
“The city acknowledges there needs to be a base level of temporary accommodation available to address the upcoming large construction projects planned for the city,” Bowler said.
“However, with the need for workforce accommodation always changing, it is integral that the supply of such accommodation is managed properly.
“Local communities benefit from having workers and their families permanently located in the city and can suffer negative impacts from a large FIFO presence.
“Key objectives of this draft policy are to achieve reciprocal benefits for the local community and businesses and enable facility occupants to integrate with the community, local businesses and city services.”
The policy will ensure any new developments are fully evaluated and properly assessed within the approval process.
In addition, 12-months before the expiry of the approved timeframe, the landowner must provide Council with a site decommissioning program or a transition plan.
“We would obviously prefer long-term operational workers to be based in our town and contributing to the community,” Bowler said.
“Families should be able to tuck their kids into bed every night and spend quality time with their partners.
“The policy emphasises that, where long-term town-based FIFO operations are required by industry, council expects their accommodation to be of a high standard; suitably integrated with surrounding development and the community; and not of a camp design or layout appropriate to an isolated/remote camp.”