FIFO workers are being forced to live in “mining concentration camps” and enduring “postcode apartheid” near the towns of Blackwater, Moranbah, Middlemount, Dysart and Moura, according to Qld Opposition mines spokesperson Jo-Ann Miller.
Ms Miller made the controversial statements in State Parliament last night in a fiesty attack on mining companies’ lack of support for Queensland’s mining towns.
“To say that mining companies are engaging in fly-in, fly-out postcode apartheid is no understatement,” Ms Miller said.
“Workers are being kept in what only can be described as mining concentration camps.”
According to a report on ninemsn, Ms Miller said “workers were being told not to mix with locals and had to have written permission before being able to leave the camps.”
Ms Miller was particularly scathing of the policy that required miners to move to cities in order to secure work at their local mine.
“This policy of denying workers and their families the opportunity of living near their work should be made unlawful,” she said.
“It is dangerous, it is discriminatory, it is un-Australian and it is a disgrace.”
Ms Miller said the practice was aimed shutting down the state’s mining towns and breaking its coal mining unions.
Unoccupied hotels and struggling shops are being forced to close as a consequence, she said