The Parliamentary Committee Report on the Strong and
Sustainable Resource Communities Bill 2016:
seeks to extend the 100% FIFO ban from large resource projects
to all resource projects;
seeks to extend the retrospective provisions relating to the
advertising of positions and discrimination of residents of nearby
communities when recruiting, to all resource projects, regardless
of the size or date of commencement of the project.
Be alive to the Bill passing and any amendments including the
report's recommendations. Seek advice about possible exposure
to the offence provisions.
In November 2016 the Strong and Sustainable Resource
Communities Bill 2016 was introduced into the Queensland
Parliament. From there, it was referred to a Parliamentary
Committee for review and consultation.
The Bill, as written, proposes to prohibit "large"
resource projects from employing workers on a 100% fly-in fly-out
The Bill also prohibits,
retrospectively, owners of large resource
projects approved after 30 June 2009 from:
advertising positions in a way that stops residents in nearby
communities from applying;
stating that residents of nearby communities are not eligible
to be employees; or
discriminating against residents of nearby communities when
This month, the Parliamentary Committee has released its report
on the Bill.
The report not only recommends that the Bill be passed, but that
the 100% FIFO ban for 'large resource projects' (projects
that require an EIS) be broadened to cover
all resource projects in the vicinity of
a 'nearby regional community'.
The report also recommends that the current definition of
'nearby regional community' be amended to remove the 100 km
radius and the requirement that a relevant community have at least
200 residents, and leave the effective radius and minimum size of
an affected "community" to the discretion of the
There are no recommendations in the report to remove the
retrospective provisions. In fact, the report suggests that these
provisions be amended to apply to all
resource projects that have a nearby regional community, regardless
of the size of the resource project or its date of
These retrospective provisions create uncertainty and increase
perceived investment risk.
The Bill (if passed) means:
the Coordinator General uses broad discretion to nominate any
town with a population of more than 200 people as a 'nearby
there are no appropriately skilled workers (or workers
willing/able to make the often long commute by vehicle),
the owners of FIFO resource projects may have no option but to
close (or not proceed with) the project, or breach the law.
Owners of projects approved after 30 June 2009 may face
penalties where they do not advertise positions or hold interviews
in a way accessible to residents of a 'nearby
For example, that would happen if they had used a recruitment
firm based in the closest capital city, who conducted face-to-face
interviews at their office (rather than by a method available to
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