80% of FIFO workers would not change where they live

AN industry-commissioned report has poured cold water on claims fly-in, fly-out mine workers are struggling with mental, physical and lifestyle challenges because of FIFO.

The Queensland Resources Council survey of more than 1800 fly-in, fly-out workers found more than four out of five would not change where they live, even if they were given the opportunity.

The survey also showed 85% of resource industry workers from around the state regard their physical and mental health and quality of life as either excellent, very good or good.

The findings are similar to those of a 2013 University of Queensland commissioned report into FIFO practices.

UQ's resources expert Associate Professor John Steen said the findings of both reports are remarkably consistent.

He said issues surrounding FIFO workforces were extremely complex.

"You have every right to get suspicious when an industry body commissions a report like this, but the findings are very consistent with what we found," he said.

"When you actually speak to workers, the overall feeling is they enjoy their work and the lifestyle associated with it."

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Prof Steen said he had no doubt the current parliamentary inquiry into the practice was politically motivated.

He said it would be interesting to see what the inquiry recommended when it handed down its report later this month.

"This parliamentary inquiry is a very curious thing," he said.

"I would be very concerned about imposing more burdens on an industry that is already struggling."

Mirani MP Jim Pearce said the inquiry was about recognising the impacts FIFO workforces were having on Central Queensland.

He said the whole committee had an open mind about the issue and was working hard to ensure its recommendations were the right ones.

"It is bloody tough up here in Central Queensland at the moment," he said.

"We estimate about 30% of FIFO workers would jump at the opportunity to bring their families with them.

"But they are too fearful of speaking out when dealing with mining companies for fear of retribution." - APN NEWSDESK.


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