QRC wants FIFO talks with regional leaders
A MINING industry group's chief executive would welcome the chance to sit down with regional leaders to discuss how fly-in fly-out workers could play a larger role in the communities where they work.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche's comments come on the back of those of a federal politician who said all levels of government needed to work together to find a way to integrate FIFO workers into regional towns.
Western Australia Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan, who made the comments while addressing a Pilbara Regional Council meeting this week, said FIFO workers needed to be welcomed into regional communities, not segregated.
"While there will always be a place for isolated mining construction camps, wherever possible, permanent FIFO workers should be integrated in the towns," she said.
"When FIFO workers are integrated into towns, these workers become community volunteers, they participate in sporting activities and they contribute to the economy of the town.
"It is a win, win situation . . . the community benefits, the workers benefit, the town benefits."
Mr Roche said he agreed with Ms MacTiernan's comments, but said regional communities must have a clear view of what they wanted.
He said some communities had strongly opposed FIFO workforces.
"There has been a fair bit of demonising against FIFO workers over the years," he said.
"If the welcome matt was out then I believe workers and companies would embrace it."