Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Pitch to Lock in DIDO Future; Alterations to FIFO Bill Pave Growth

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Pitch to Lock in DIDO Future; Alterations to FIFO Bill Pave Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: Emily Smith

The Bill

The final public hearing of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill, geared at banning 100% FIFO, took place in Mackay and Rockhampton yesterday. During that time a number of parties, including BHP Billiton and the Queensland Resources Council, made strong recommendations for and against the bill. The committee conducting the hearings now has to provide its report to the Legislative Assembly by 7 March 2017.

DIDO workers- major impact on Mackay.

MACKAY could be the town best placed for growth on the Queensland coast given its unique combination of high-capacity infrastructure and faltering population, each a relic of the last mining boom.

That claim was made by Mackay Regional Council director of development services Gerard Carlyon, who went on to explain how bringing more drive in, drive out miners to Mackay could kick-start that growth potential.

Mr Carlyon spoke on behalf of council at a public hearing into the state government's Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill at Mackay yesterday.

The bill was introduced to ensure regional communities would benefit from resource projects, by reducing the ability of mining companies to use 100% FIFO workforces.

While Mr Carlyon described it as a "quality bill", he then touched on minor changes council would like to see enacted before it came into play.

Firstly he believed resource companies should be forced to offer jobs to those in communities within a 150km radius of a project, up from 100km as the bill suggested.

As no major projects lie within 100km of Mackay, the 150km upgrade would ensure jobs were offered to Mackay residents who could drive-in, drive-out to the sites.

Mackay's comparatively low unemployment rate, 5.8%, coupled with its high vacancy rate, 7.9%, led Mr Carlyon to assume once workers lost their jobs, they were leaving town.

Ensuring resource companies would offer jobs to Mackay's DIDO workers could be one way to increase a worker's likelihood of finding another job in town, if they lost one. …

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