The Queensland Parliament has passed the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill 2016 which limits the use of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforces. The Bill was first introduced to Parliament in November 2016 and was recently passed with a number of amendments.
The Bill legislates against the use of 100 percent FIFO workforces on resource projects located near regional communities whilst also prohibiting discrimination against locals during a project’s recruitment process. The anti-discrimination measures will ensure that recruitment processes are focussed on recruiting from local and regional communities as well as workers who will live in a regional community. The legislation was originally set to apply to resource projects within 100km of a “nearby regional community” however following a committee review that distance has been increased to 125km. The Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham stated:
“The requirements affect large resource projects with 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125 kilometre radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents – numbers reached after widespread community consultation.”
The Bill also gives the Coordinator General a number of additional powers to ensure compliance of large resource projects with the legislation.
The Queensland Resources Council was critical of the proposed changes stating that the additional legislative burden would increase costs on companies.