'Mackay needs mining': council tells inquiry
THE Mackay Regional Council has told a parliamentary inquiry the region is suffering from the mining downturn more than anywhere else.
In a written submission to the Queensland Government inquiry into fly-in, fly-out and long-distance commuting practices in regional areas, the council warned against 100% FIFO.
The council stated Mackay was already suffering on the back of low coal prices.
The submission stated Mackay was feeling the economic shift more than other areas given the role the city and wider region played in being the support hub and key residential location for mining workers and services.
Plugging the region as an excellent base for miners working in the Bowen Basin, the submission explained Mackay's investment in infrastructure for the resources industry.
"From an infrastructure provision point of view, Mackay has invested heavily... to support the level of growth demanded via the recent mining 'boom'," the submission said.
"It is critical that Mackay retains the level and mix of population to continue to contribute to the upkeep of such infrastructure, otherwise Mackay is left unfunded (with) deteriorating community assets."
While the council noted the need for FIFO, it said the option of 100% FIFO workforces provided a perception of disadvantaging certain communities and centres.
The inquiry will also consider the expected growth in FIFO work practices by region, and industry and health impacts on workers and families.
Public hearings will be held in Mackay on June 15, Gladstone on June 18 and Rockhampton on June 19.