Traeger MP and Katter party leader Robbie Katter says the haemorrhaging of North West Queensland jobs to the coast continues with the loss of another local, skilled rail management job to a FIFO position on the coast.
Mr Katter said he was extremely disappointed that rail-user Aurizon accepted fly-in-fly-out applicants to its recently-advertised Regional Operations Leader role in Cloncurry with the position now been filled by an out-of-towner.
"I was alerted back in December that Aurizon was asking for people based in Brisbane or Townsville to apply for the job, and that a FIFO arrangement would be acceptable," Mr Katter said.
"Aurizon is a private company and they can do what they want with their workforce, however my support for them - and any other business operator in the North West region - has always been contingent on the benefits their existence provides to our local communities.
"This is largely demonstrated by the work opportunities they offer to locals, or through the new people they attract to our town."
It is the second time in a week Aurizon has been in Mr Katter's sights after he complained about dust and traffic volume from their Mount Isa yard.
Mr Katter said Aurizon told him there were no local candidates suitable for the Cloncurry job and while he acknowledged challenges filling skilled positions in remote communities, relying on FIFO workers was not good enough.
"I must acknowledge though that Aurizon have been much better as a local contributor than their rival Pacific National, which treats this area with contempt by not placing one piece of infrastructure or one single employee west of Townsville," he said.
Mr Katter has implored that Aurizon, and other major employers including the mines, ensure their workforces are based locally as much as possible.
"The negative impacts on outback towns by the repeated out-sourcing of employment opportunities to out-of-town workers cannot be overstated," he said.
"We have seen the social fabric of communities like Mount Isa, Cloncurry, Julia Creek and Hughenden eroded and development stifled by this very practice over the last 10 years."
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