Townsville FIFO Hub
Townsville aspirations to become the Fly-in Fly-out (FIFO) hub for the Adani coal mine is under serious threat as the Queensland Government has banned 100% 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% FIFO for operational workforces and prohibit discrimination against local workers.
“The requirements affect large resource projects with 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125km radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents,” Dr. Lynham said.
“The Coordinator-General will 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% FIFO prohibition is contravened.”
A recent major projects feasibility rankings report carried out by McLeod Investments and Consultancy exclusively for TREN identified the risks of just one fly-in fly-out hub through Townsville was rated as very unlikely.
The futurist report in early August said “Queensland political stakeholders will seek to spread the “jobs” payoff leading up to the 2018 State election. Adani will accommodate because the company relies heavily on State Labor support and positive state-wide public opinion.
“Knowing these sensitivities, it would be harmful to Adani to erode any of the political capital it has gained in Queensland, especially as the Premier comes under increasing pressure to state a policy position to counter One Nation’s policy for the government to build, own and manage the Abbott Point to Galilee Basin railway network.”
The McINC futurist report also said “Therefore, Townsville’s prospects of having more than 1000 white and blue collar workers based in the City, permanent and FIFO, during the mine operations would be a very favourable outcome indeed for the economy. This scenario, however, is becoming even more optimistic considering the current political and supply-chain exposures.”
The LNP says the government blocked their move to further strengthen the Bill.
The LNP tabled two amendments to the Labor Bill. But LNP Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington said Labor did not support them. The amendments would have mandated companies to consult with local communities within the local government area through the Social Impact Assessment process.
Also in parliament on Thursday Member for Mount Isa Robbie Katter spoke about Dugald River accepting FIFO from Townsville if it cannot fill from Mount Isa and Cloncurry which he said was concerning.
“They say that the Ernest Henry mine in Cloncurry employs only about 30 per cent locals right now, even though it is just outside town,” Mr. Katter said.
“Last month’s figures show that there is 40 per cent youth unemployment in the outback. That is evident also in Cloncurry. Some people in Townsville and Brisbane might celebrate when they get FIFO in those areas, but it takes from our towns.”
Townsville local authorities have been lobbying Adani and the State government to win the exclusive hub FIFO deal to boost its struggling jobs economy.
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