Mining groups have criticised proposed changes to laws governing the use of fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers in Queensland’s mining industry. The proposed laws would ban 100% FIFO workforces at mines where a local workforce is available, as well as forcing mining companies to consider locals for jobs at existing operations.
Michael Roche, CEO of the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), called the measures “deeply concerning to the industry” and warned that they could “pose a serious threat to investor confidence in the state”.
“The QRC’s latest workforce survey reveals that better than four our of five employees would not change where they live or their accommodation arrangements even if they were given the opportunity,” continued Roche. “This really calls into question the need for any legislative amendment.”
The Australian Association of Mining Exploration Companies (AMEC) was similary critical, calling the proposed legislation “over the top”.
“Before the minister goes any further, the government should consult with the industry to ensure that any unintended consequences are fully considered, as well as the fact that employers and employees should be given the flexibility of choice of where they live and work,” said Simon Bennison, CEO of AMEC.
“The government will also need to ensure that regional communities have appropriate public infrastructure and services available to support a non-FIFO workforce, such as health, education and child care services.”
There are currently only two mines in Queensland that use a 100% FIFO workforce under an agreement put in place at a time when the mining industry faced an extremely tight labour market.
“We understand circumstances have changed since this time, but retrospective action is never welcome,” said the QRC’s Roche.
“QRC accepts that all parties in the Queensland parliament do not support future 100 percent mining operations where there are nearby towns that have a capable workforce; however we do not support any retrospective regulatory action against existing mines,” concluded Roche.
Edited by Jonathan Rowland.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/18032016/mining-groups-criticise-fifo-law-changes-2015-422/