FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC

THE Queensland Resources Council has defended the rise of fly-in, fly-out operations for the state’s coal operations, pointing to research that shows workers prefer to have it included in the mix of residential options.
FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC FIFO is needed to keep workers in Qld coal sector: QRC

If residential or non-residential options were not available across the sector, a significant number of people would choose not to work in the sector, QRC CEO Michael Roche told the Mackay Area Industry Network.

Citing a QRC Workforce Accommodation Survey, Roche said there was no material difference in accommodation satisfaction between residential and non-residential workers.

About 60% of non-residential workers in the Queensland coal industry have been in the sector for five years or more, contradicting the notion that non-resident workers don't stay long term.

"Accommodation arrangements are rated important or very important by large majority of workers," he said.

"Accommodation arrangements do not attract or suit a ‘particular type' of person.

"Single, married, with or without children - there is no stereotypical linkage between residential and non-residential workers."

There were 22,900 non-resident workers on-shift in Bowen Basin at end June 2013, which was 9% less than the previous corresponding period.

Roche said FIFO was an exercise of choice that aided in the global competitiveness of the Queensland coal industry.

This was a time that the productivity of Queensland's coal was being threatened by extra costs such as royalties, he said.

"Increasing mining royalty rates at a time of lower commodity prices may impact on the national and international competitiveness for Queensland mines and will impact on jobs," he said.

"Increasing royalties may make resources companies less competitive on the world market. Ultimately, these companies may choose to close some projects, and abandon the development of others, affecting jobs and other investment in Queensland."