Local government expresses dissatisfaction with compulsory FIFO

The compulsory FIFO issue will attract more attention this week with key events in Queensland and Canberra to highlight public and local government concerns.

A series of public hearings around Queensland this week will seek to uncover the concerns of the Queensland public about the impact of compulsory FIFO policies.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Queensland president Steve Smyth has encouraged local community members to speak out about the personal and economic impact of compulsory FIFO hiring practices at Daunia and Caval Ridge.

Smyth also said that with another 200 job losses in Queensland, from North Goonyella last week, that it was becoming increasingly urgent to end 100 per cent FIFO hiring policies.

“More job losses mean hundreds more skilled local mineworkers in Central Queensland will soon be looking for work and unable to apply for a position at nearby 100 per cent compulsory FIFO mines," Smyth said.

“These hearings are a real chance for local people to have their voices heard and we are encouraging everyone to attend regardless of whether or not they made a submission to the inquiry.

“We are confident that these public hearings will further shine a light on the urgency of ending 100 per cent compulsory FIFO in Queensland.”

In turn this week the Isaac Regional Council, a regional with resident workforce of 24,215 and a non-resident workforce of 11,085, will move four key motions at the National General Assembly of Local Government in Canberra to bring key local concerns about the costs of hosting a non-resident workforce to the national agenda.

“These four motions highlight the urgent need to reform taxation, reduce duplication in planning and regulation, acknowledge cost-shifts due to non-resident workforces and implement a method to accurately measure non-residential workforces,” Baker said.

Baker said she was very concerned that the Federal Government had agreed to adopt only two of the 21 recommendations put forward in the Windsor Report.

“The inquiry has taken in 26 public hearings and 232 submissions over 17 months, there clearly is a well-documented, national impact here,” she said.  

“Since the report was handed down, we’ve seen more than 7,000 state-wide job losses in the mining industry which have hollowed out our regional resource communities.”

 “The Windsor Report recommendations are designed to ensure that investment by mining industries in regional communities is balanced and fair.

“The practice of introducing 100% non-resident workforces near existing regional communities, combined with falling coal prices, mining industry cost cutting measures and the completion of many growth and construction projects has had a significant negative impact in regional communities across Australia.”

Mayor Baker said that the reintroduction of inclusive workforce practices would allow regional Australia to be able to continue to be a positive and integral part of economic growth.

Isaac Regional Council services a resident population of only 24,215 and a non-resident workforce of 11,085.

Mayor Baker said funding methodologies used by State and Federal Governments did not recognise  the true costs for local governments associated with hosting a non-resident workforce.

“Examples of exacerbated costs include hastened deterioration of road infrastructure, increased waste storage requirements and impacts to essential services, including health, police and emergency services.”

Isaac councillor Jane Pickels will put the following motions to the Assembly in Canberra this week:

Motion 1 – That the National General Assembly 2015 lobby the Federal Government to support the review of current tax arrangements, specific to recommendations 12, 13, 14 and 15 of the Cancer of the Bush or Salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in regional Australia report.

Motion 2 – The National General Assembly 2015 lobby the State and Federal Governments through the Reform of the Federation consultation process to reduce duplication in land use, environmental and social impact planning and regulation. Local Government seeks to be a key player in revising a system to provide clear planning and regulation with State and Federal Governments providing a tripartite solution.

Motion 3 – The National General Assembly 2015 lobby the State and Federal Governments through the Reform of the Federation consultation process, to develop an agreement between the 3 tiers of Government. The agreement should be based on a formula that acknowledges the real cost shift and fund appropriately, through cost savings made by the removal of duplicated processes between all levels of Government.

Motion 4 – The National General Assembly 2015 lobby the Federal Government to immediately commence the funding of the Australian Bureau of Statistics to establish a cross jurisdictional working group and implement a method for the accurate measurement of: the extent of fly–in , fly-out / drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in the resource sector; and service the populations of resource communities.

 

Public hearings about compulsory FIFO will be held at the following locations this week:

Monday June 15, 2015

• Mackay 9‐11am, Mackay Grande Suites, 9 Gregory St, Mackay

• Moranbah 4‐6pm, Moranbah Workers Club, 49 Mills Ave, Moranbah

Tuesday June 16, 2015

• Dysart 9-11am, Dysart Civic Centre, 16 Queen Elizabeth Dr, Dysart

• Middlemount 2.30-4.30pm, Middlemount Bowls Club, 89 Centenary Dr, Middlemount

Wednesday June 17, 2015

• Emerald 9-11am, Mayfair Ridge Tavern, Cnr Gregory Hwy & Mayfair Dr, Emerald

• Blackwater 2.15‐4.15pm, Blackwater Civic Centre, 20 Blain St, Blackwater

Thursday June 18, 2015

• Moura 9-11am, Coal N Cattle, 63 Dawson Hwy, Moura

• Gladstone 3-5pm, Oaks Grand Hotel, 79 Goondoon St, Gladstone Friday June 19, 2015

• Rockhampton 10-noon, Travelodge Rockhampton, 86 Victoria Pde, Rockhampton

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