In this Alert, Shane Entriken, Special Counsel, provides
commentary on the key Queensland LNP and ALP policy positions
around FIFO workforces and what it potentially means for current
and future projects.
The political landscape is uncertain with the election result in
Queensland still undecided. The policies that the Queensland ALP
have proposed in relation to the mining sector pose some important
considerations for families, business and the State.
One of the key issues for discussion has been resource projects
in areas that are not considered remote, and whether an entirely
fly-in, fly out (FIFO) workforce should be allowed. The policy
positions of the LNP and ALP are as follows:
Disputes the impact of 100% FIFO, saying 100%FIFO only counts
for a pittance of the total mining workforce;
Supported the employment model in the past, saying it spreads
the wealth of the resource regions, but is now guaranteeing no new
mine will be approved using the employment model;
States there is no going back on existing 100% FIFO
Believes it's a commercial decision for mine operator BMA
in the case of the two Queensland 100% FIFO mines; and
States it would be unfair and unjust to change the conditions
of the approvals process after those operations have been set up in
Under a Queensland ALP Government, all existing 100% FIFO
arrangements will be assessed within the first 100 days of
Furthermore, key amendments to the Act will include, but are not
the requirement that Coordinator-General consider, monitor and
report on whether employees are being provided with a choice to
reside in established regional communities when making an approval
decision on an Environmental Impact Statement
a blanket ban on 100% FIFO where resource projects are located
near a resource town or regional community;
the requirement of resource companies to:
invest in permanent housing options in regional communities to
ensure the ongoing liveability and sustainability of these
provide access to 24-hour mental health and support services
for resident/non-resident employees;
the requirement of the Coordinator-General to report annually
to Parliament on the number of non-resident works in the Bowen
Basin and Surat Basin area, as well as provide an assessment of
flow-on social, community and economic impacts on regional
the reintroduction of Social Impact Assessments into the EIS
The key drivers of every business are different. However, a
change from FIFO to residential, or a mix of both, is a huge change
and requires many issues to be properly worked through.
Such a change has impacts on a large number of areas including
the roster worked, remuneration levels, sustainability of air
service contracts and infrastructure, communities, house and rental
prices and availability, regional diversity in residential
locations as well as for FIFO hubs, health and safety, cost
structures, productivity, schooling, health, family, partners'
career and business sustainability and flexibility.
There is no substitute for planning and having a strategy in
place. Once the results of the Queensland State election are
finalised, those projects employing a 100% FIFO workforce will need
to be ready for the changes that will come and the additional
scrutiny their projects will soon face.
Additionally, HopgoodGanim is preparing a submission to the
Productivity Commission in relation to the full review of the
workplace relations system in Australia. To provide commentary and
input for inclusion in this submission, click here.
Long experience representing many of Australia's leading employers has taught us that in employment litigation the identity of an employee's representative is a major factor in how employee litigation runs.
Australian employees receive certain entitlements (such as annual leave and superannuation) where contractors do not.
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