Moranbah FIFO decision still up in the air

The co-ordinator general has still not set a deadline for the decision on BMA’s application for a 100% FIFO workforce.

While yesterday was the deadline for the public to submit their views on the applications, it is not known when the feedback will be reviewed or a decision made, the Daily Mercury reports.

A spokesperson for the co-ordinator general’s office said a decision on the application will made in “the coming months”, but that no firm date has been set.

They went on to say that three submissions had been received last Friday, and that anti-FIFO group Queensland Mining Communities (QMC) and the Isaac Regional Council were given extensions to lodge their submissions.

The community group’s submission against the application was supported by more than 400 people who attended a town meeting in Moranbah.

BMA is seeking a 100% fly in fly out workforce for its operations at its Caval Ridge and Daunia coal mines, after previously agreeing to a ration that would see it source 30% of its workforce from the local region.

The miner claims that its application has been misunderstood, with BMA chief Stephen Dumble stating that 70% of the workforce is already FIFO, and that increasing it to 100% is unlikely to damage the community.

Dumble said the move caused by a shortage in skilled labour, but could not guarantee that BMA would not do the same at other mines in the future.

"No I can’t guarantee that," Dumble said.

"What I can guarantee is that we will be increasing our residential workforce in Moranbah and the Bowen Basin."

He went on to say that the 150 FIFO jobs at Caval Ridge are not being seen in the context of the miner’s 6000-strong workforce across the region.

"One application doesn’t tell the story of our commitment to that part of the world.

"The reality is our business is the biggest employer in Queensland and 80% of our workforce is residential."

However, QMC claim that employing a wholly fly in fly out workforce will damage the local community.

"We want to grow sustainably alongside industry, not be turned into mere bus stops on the road to massive mining industry profits; and that’s what 100% fly-in, fly-out will do to our entire region," QMC head Kelly Vea Vea said.

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