Rockhampton to host FIFO debate

A conference will he held in Rockhampton next week to discuss the issues surrounding FIFO workers in Central Queensland.

Independent MP Tony Windsor, Capricornia's Kirsten Livermore and resource industry leaders will be amongst the speakers at the conference, The Bulletin reported.

The conference is set to discuss how the balance between the needs of regional communities and mining companies who use a transient workforce can be better managed.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said with Central Queensland set to receive $146 billion worth of investment over the next decade, it was important to strike the right balance.

"It is critical that we ensure that workers are carefully balanced between FIFO and resident opportunities in order for the region to see long-term benefit from this boom," Carroll said.

"Latest population statistics certainly reflect the growth that our greater CQ region is experiencing.

"Whilst the incredibly strong growth predicted for the Capricorn Coast has not come as a surprise, the fact that its percentage growth rate is ahead of Mackay and Townsville proves our destination is well and truly being sought after for people to live, work, play and invest."

A new report examining the impacts FIFO and DIDO has on regional communities was released last month exposing the downsides of using a transient workforce.

The findings of the 209-page report were tabled in Parliament last month, making 21 recommendations to government and 14 to industry including better resourcing communities under pressure from large FIFO workforces and removing tax benefits for companies using transient workforces.

The report found that an influx of temporary workers is creating housing shortages, driving up prices, and straining public services.

Independent MP Tony Windsor, who chaired the committee, wrote in the report's foreword that governments of all levels needed to recognise and act on the issues impacting regional communities who were hosting large FIFO workforces.

Windsor said a policy mix was needed to ensure FIFO did not lead to "a hollowing out of established regional towns."

The conference will be held at the Rockhampton Plaza Hotel, George St on Monday and Tuesday

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