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Eight new mining projects added to FIFO blacklist

FIFO charter plane
FIFO charter plane

More major resources developments have been banned from using a purely fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforce.

Queensland Coordinator-General Barry Broe has declared eight large mining projects will be banned from using 100 per cent FIFO workers.

The latest additions to the list include:

  • Baralaba Coal Company’s Baralaba North Coal Mine
  • Round Oak Minerals’ Barbara Copper Gold Project
  • Metro Mining’s Bauxite Hills Mine
  • New Century Resources’ Century Zinc Mine
  • Bounty Mining’s Cook Colliery
  • Round Oak Minerals’ Mount Colin Underground Copper Mine
  • Auctus Resources’ Mungana Zinc Copper Silver Gold and Lead Mine
  • Pembroke Resources’ Olive Downs Coking Coal Mine.

Pushing mines to hire locals

The ban, which is permitted under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017, is promised to encourage mines to employ more locals instead of simply flying people in and out of the area.

“We want to see more regional jobs stay in our regions,” State Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said in a public statement. “Fifty-nine regional communities will benefit from these declarations, including protections under the anti-discrimination provisions in the act relating to the future recruitment of workers for the eight new projects.”

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Growing blacklist

The Coordinator-General’s published list of large resource projects applies to a total of 69 large resource projects and 295 different nearby regional communities. A large resource project is defined as employing 100 or more operational workers and the local catchment includes communities within 125km of a project.

However, the Mount Colin Mine and Barbara Project in the state’s northwest region do not employ that many workers are were added to make sure locals would not miss out on jobs.

“Both these projects are likely to have less than 100 workers, so their inclusion will ensure residents of Mount Isa and Cloncurry can benefit from the mines’ operations,” Dick said.

‘No justification’ says industry body

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) is not a fan of the FIFO ban list and previously described it as a legal tool to punish the “natural resources sector for the approvals given by the former Bligh Labor government for two new coal mines in the Bowen Basin at the height of the boom.”

‘There is no justification for this sledgehammer approach when, of the nearly 50 operating coal mines in Queensland, there are just two FIFO mines, and those were approved,” QRC said in a public statement back in 2016. “It is simply ludicrous to ban 100 percent FIFO operations if a proposed new mine is within 100km of a community as tiny as 200 people.”

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