Katter's Australian Party leader and Member for Traeger, Robbie Katter, has called on the Queensland government to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the impact of Fly In Fly Out employment in regional and rural communities.
According to Mr Katter, it had been over a decade since anyone had looked into the impacts of FIFO work in rural communities and believed the time to act was now.
"[With FIFO employment] you can expect to see school enrolments stall and instability amongst the small business community," he said.
"Traditionally, Mount Isa Mines has drawn workers to settle in our community which creates a positive ripple effect for our local economy and social engagement.
"The current legislation that regulates FIFO and DIDO work is practically useless, we urgently need an inquiry to reconsider the current legislation and seek out a more practical solution that benefits both the mining sector and the communities."
The state government introduced the 100% ban on FIFO near towns such as Mount Isa and Cloncurry in 2018 (the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act) with the support of the KAP but within a year Mr Katter said the bill was not strong enough.
At the time he called for legislative changes to stamp out unfettered fly-in-fly-out and contract mine employee numbers to protect regional communities.
His latest call comes after Glencore Australia proposed a new seven-day roster which would take over from the current four-days on, four-days off model In a bid to improve productivity in the Mount Isa Copper Operations.
Mr Katter said he was disappointed to see Glencore adopt FIFO arrangements and believes the move will have severe impacts on the entire community and local economy of Mount Isa.
"I understand the difficulties being experienced by all mines with critical labour shortages following the pandemic, but this decision comes at a long-term social cost," he said.
Mr Katter said this option presented too much opportunity for workers to base themselves outside of the region.
A Glencore spokesperson said they were seeking to align the primary workforce rosters at Mount Isa Copper Operations and George Fisher Mine.
"The 7 days on/7 days off roster which has been in place at George Fisher Mine for several years, has improved productivity and supports greater work/life balance and we believe MICO would also benefit from the introduction of the same schedule where the workers are currently on a 4 days on/4 days off roster," a spokesperson said.
"The alignment of rosters would also allow workers to transfer between the two sites more easily, providing greater operational flexibility and opportunities for the long term economic sustainability of our business."
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