Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments

QUEENSLAND Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has verbally attacked Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller for comparing fly-in, fly-out mining villages to concentration camps.
Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments Labor MP in hot water over FIFO comments

Andrew Duffy

In a speech to Queensland Parliament this week, Miller said had been told of poor conditions at FIFO camps in the state.

"Workers are being kept in what can only be described as mining concentration camps," she said.

"They are being told that they're not free to leave or to mingle, or to talk with locals — in fact, some have to fill out a form and get written permission to leave these concentration camps."

Miller said an industry policy denying miners the opportunity to live near their work was "dangerous" and a "disgrace"

Seeney said Miller's comments were "appalling and insensitive" and called on her to apologise to survivors of World War II concentration camps.

"I'm sure many Queenslanders would find it abhorrent that she is exploiting their terrible experiences to create newspaper headlines," he said.

"What's even more disturbing is the lack of leadership shown by Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk in not calling Mrs Miller to heel."

Seeney said the comments were part of a union campaign to grab attention in mining regions.

"This is a last-ditch effort by unions like the CFMEU to salvage what they can of their fading power in our mining communities," he said.

"This is about unions wanting to have a captive audience of mine-workers that live in town so that they can control their life in and out of work."

Miller has since attempted to clarify her comments, and said she had no intention to cause offence.

The member for Bundamba said she had been asked by locals to relay the issues in parliament, and had raised them in the same way they had been told to her.