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Browse our news stories about the activities and achievements of Queensland local councils and learn more about the challenges and issues affecting local government and their communities.

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FIFO bill passed

A bill banning 100% fly in fly out workers on large mining resource projects passed with bipartisan support in the Queensland Parliament last week.

The new laws will apply to resource projects with a minimum of 100 workers and to new work contracts only. The bill also includes a statutory requirement to consult local government on social impacts and stipulates conditions to ensure communities situated close to large resource projects are not discriminated against in the recruitment process.

Mines Minister Anthony Lynham said the bill was both fair and reasonable,

"You are now back on that level playing field," Mr Lynham told Parliament.

"Recruitment will be done on the basis of the strength of the applicant not the postcode of the application.

"This bill will … prohibit discrimination against local residents in future recruitment processes for operational workers and enable existing FIFO workers to move into a local community if they choose."

Member for Warrego Ms Ann Leahy said she had reservations about the bill,

"There are also concerns in relation to the reverse onus of proof provision contained in the bill." Ms Leahy said.

"The definition of 100 per cent FIFO is written in the negative; it is also open to abuse. This definition could easily be subverted."

"We must be cautious that this will deliver desired outcomes and that it is not a tool to significantly delay projects."

In June, LGAQ Principal Adviser of Resources and Regional Development Kirsten Pietzner appeared at the public hearing of a parliamentary committee inquiry into the Bill.

She told the committee, "We need to take the opportunity presented by this Bill to put adaptive management of social impacts at the heart of resources policy and legislation,"

"The failure of the current social impact management process becomes even more evident when you consider the cumulative effects of several projects operating in the same region at the same time."

You can read the full Parliamentary proceedings here.