New law to end FIFO destroying regional employment


flyinflyout workers boarding plane
FIFO workers boarding plane. Photo: Andy Curle

A new Queensland law banning 100% fly-in, fly-out workers, or FIFO, on large scale resource projects, has come in to effect as of August 31.

The new law aims to change employment practices on resource projects in a bid to tackle regional unemployment and discrimination against employing local workers.

The new requirements will affect large projects with 100 workers or more. The act applies to regional communities with 200 residents, or more within a 125km radius of resource projects.

This month State government member for Mount Isa, Robert Katter told the Queensland parliament he feels the new law is important. 

“Last months 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,” Mr Katter said.

Dr Anthony Lynham, The Minister for State Development and the Minister for Natural Resources supports the new law.

“This will build communities, increase opportunities for employment and allow competitive local businesses to get the maximum benefit from the projects,” Mr Lynham said.

Andy Curle is a FIFO worker from Brisbane. He says the law is gives local communities a better deal.

“I think its fair to the local communities to even out the amount of FIFO and local employees really, as it stands to get into almost any fly in fly out job you need to have someone who can vouch for you in the door already, which isolates the industry somewhat,” Mr Curle said.

The act fulfils one of the election promises made by the Palaszczuk government in 2015 to ban 100 per cent fly-in fly-out mining projects if elected.





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