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New FIFO law benefits regional communities

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The Palaszczuk Government yesterday delivered on its election commitment to legislate against 100 per cent fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces on large resource projects near regional communities.

Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill would prohibit 100 per cent FIFO for operational workforces, prohibit discrimination in recruitment against local workers and enhance the social impact assessment process.

“The requirements affect large resource projects with 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125 kilometre radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents – numbers reached after widespread community consultation,” Dr Lynham said.

“This first ever Bill to address FIFO strikes a balanced and considered approach that will deliver positive social and economic outcomes for resource communities across Queensland.

“A major change is the new provision in the Anti-Discrimination Act that will prevent companies discriminating against locals in the future recruitment of workers and allow FIFO workers to move into the local community if they want to.

“The Bill includes a recruitment hierarchy that prioritises recruitment from local and regional communities, followed by recruitment of workers who will live in a regional community.

“The independent Coordinator-General will have additional powers to administer the Bill and enforce compliance. This includes requiring proponents to produce a workforce management plan and setting approval conditions on these plans on projects where the 100 per cent FIFO prohibition is contravened

“The Coordinator-General will be able to set, monitor and enforce compliance with the conditions on new large resource projects through their environmental impact statements, which will need to comprehensively assess social impacts.

“The Coordinator-General will also be able to ensure existing large resource projects comply with the 100 per cent FIFO prohibition.

“And, the Coordinator-General will be able to include construction where a suitable workforce may exist in the community.

“The enhanced Social Impact Assessment guideline prescribed in the Bill will provide a more comprehensive approach to social impact assessment.”

The law is part of the Government’s strong and sustainable resource communities policy framework that came out of a Parliamentary Committee inquiry into FIFO work practices in the resource sector.

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