Devil’s in the detail as mining union welcomes proposed FIFO changes

Published: 18 Mar 2016

Changes to FIFO rules will be a win for workers and mining communities as coal companies will soon have to look local before bringing in out of area employees.

The CFMEU has welcomed the Queensland Government decision to legislate against 100 per cent FIFO operations and give back real opportunity and choice for workers located in the regions, a move the union has been advocating.

CFMEU Mining and Energy Division Queensland District President Steve Smyth welcomed the move.

“This is a big win for our regional mining towns.  The union welcomes the response from Minister Lynham and the government and their support of these recommendations,” Mr Smyth said.

“Our communities have been hit hard by mining companies increasingly turning to FIFO to source workers, but this will help to level the playing field for local workers.

“These are important changes that will breathe life back into our regions and rebuild areas that have been stripped of jobs and opportunities.”
But, Mr Smyth said he wanted to see the details.

“Right now we only have an election promise, and a response to a parliamentary report, not any specifics,” Mr Smyth said.

“The union wants to see just how strong the legislation will be and whether it will return real opportunity and choice.

“The government has made strong statements about standing up for workers in our regions, and the union is ready to help the government with their plans to ensure the best outcome for mine workers and regional communities.”

The union also hit back at claims that the proposals would result in job cuts.

“The mining companies are trying to hide behind these changes to threaten job cuts because they aren’t getting want they want,” Mr Smyth said.

“It is a scare campaign to spook the government and the workers, but there is no reason that changing FIFO would lead to job cuts, not a single one.”