FIFO Report

30 Oct 2015 11:46 AMMichael Hart


FIFO Report

Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (11.39 am): I also rise to speak briefly to the Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee’s inquiry into fly-in fly-out mining work practices. This report should be mandatory reading for all members of this House. This is a very important issue to the people of North Queensland, as the chair has already outlined. The committee during its deliberations travelled extensively through North Queensland. We visited towns like Moranbah, Dysart, Blackwater, Roma and many others, and we heard from numerous people about the issues that non-residential workers were causing in their particular towns. We saw their issues with local businesses, such as bakers and butchers, and schools and infrastructure funding. That is all affected by non-residential workers not being counted in census material and things like that.

I do not intend to go into too much detail of the report because I think everyone should read it, but there are a couple of things that I would highlight to members about fly-in fly-out in particular. The chair has already mentioned Daunia and Caval Ridge mines which are presently operating at 100 per cent fly-in fly-out. It is worth pointing out to members how that process came about, because there is a misconception in some instances. If members get hold of this report and refer to page 18, there is a very good case study on Daunia and Caval Ridge mines.

In 2008 these projects were put forward and it was suggested that the Coordinator-General have a look to see how these mines might be run. The initial response from the Coordinator-General was that fly-in fly-out should be limited to 70 per cent in both of these mines. At the time there was quite a shortfall of employment availability in these towns and it was thought that fly-in fly-out could solve that problem. I think all of the members of the committee have realised over the time that we have looked at this issue that fly-in fly-out is an important part of mining. We can never stop it completely but we can maybe tone it down a little bit. At the time, as I said, Daunia and Caval Ridge had a 70 per cent limit on them. There was, however, a shortage of manpower and a request was made to the Coordinator-General to go to 100 per cent. In the process, the limit that was put on fly-in fly-out was removed. Members should be aware that every mine in this state now operates under the same conditions. There is nothing to stop any mine from deciding to go to 100 per cent fly-in fly-out.

Why are mining companies looking to move looking to move towards fly-in fly-out? During the committee’s investigations mining companies were telling us that fly-in fly-out mining is 26 per cent more productive, unfortunately, than residential mining. There is obviously a problem here that we need to put out in the open. It is a problem of unionisation. We saw that yesterday when the CFMEU was outside making a lot of noise. If we refer to today’s Courier-Mail, it states they were out there yelling—

“We are the union—

and I apologise for the next sentence—

the arse-kicking union” …

That is the attitude, unfortunately, that the CFMEU are taking around our state. They are pushing the mining companies that far that they are having to push back. What needs to happen is the CFMEU and the mining companies need to sit down and sort this out. They really do need to sort this out, because mining companies are telling us that they are 26 per cent more productive with a fly-in fly-out workforce. That cannot last. We do not want these mines to close down, otherwise there will be no jobs for anybody. We really need to sort this out.

Watch the footage here.


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