FIFO report against “postcode discrimination” slammed

A FIFO parliamentary report against "postcode discrimination" has provoked the ire of resource industry groups.

The fly-in, fly-out and other long distance commuting work practices in regional Queensland has recommended changing the anti-discrimination act to stop mining companies from refusing to employ workers based on where they live.

The chair of the inquiry, Mirani MP Jim Pearce (CORRECT), stated in the report that the overwhelming message from central Queensland and Darling Downs communities was that people should have a choice to where they live and equal access to job opportunities.

Queensland Resources Council chair Michael Roche (CORRECT) said the organisation would be seeking legal advice on the ramifications of amending the act.

He likened the recommendation to "using a sledgehammer to crack a nut".

Mr Roche said the committee did not consider a review submitted by the QRC that found four out of five employees surveyed would not change where they live or their accommodation arrangements.

While the Australian Mines and Metals Association have warned the move could further damage the ailing mining industry.

The group said more regulation on how resource companies manage their workforces would drive potential jobs offshore.

The government committee also recommended better accommodation for workers and, where possible in the community rather than work camps.

The MPs focused on the physical and mental health of miners and recommended independent mental health support services for FIFO workers.

The committee also suggested the government create a compliance and engagement unit to better regulate mines and to engage with communities.

The inquiry heard from mining companies, workers and their families, local governments and unions.

- APN NEWSDESK


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