27 February 2013
The Regional Australia Committee of Parliament, chaired by the NSW independent Tony Windsor MP has released the final report of its long-running inquiry into ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) and ‘drive-in, drive-out’ (DIDO) work practices. The report is strongly critical of FIFO operations and makes a number of recommendations that it says are intended to ‘provide more incentive for ‘fly-in fly-out’ workers to become residential workers’. The tone of the report is summarised in its provocative title: ‘Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities?’, but it is not all negative.
The report makes a number of positive recommendations in terms of improving the level of information about FIFO operations and their costs and benefits. It includes some constructive comments about supporting regional councils and communities which are struggling to provide services due to the development of major mining industries in their regions. The report makes a number of negative recommendations including changes to taxation arrangements to encourage workers to living in regional and remote mining locations rather than flying in.
The committee’s report is available here: http://aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=ra/fifodido/report.htm
Industry association responses to the committee’s report have been made by the Minerals Council of Australia, Queensland Resources Council, and the WA Chamber of Mines and Energy.