Union wants FIFO workers to be heard

AN INDEPENDENT review of the impact of 100% fly-in, fly-out workforces on communities has been announced and the union wants workers to be heard.

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union Queensland district president Stephen Smyth said it was important workers' voices were not drowned out by the interests of powerful mining companies.

"We know that mine workers often feel unable to speak out for fear of reprisal," Mr Smyth said. "But workers and their families are the biggest stakeholders in the mining industry, and everyone involved in a review into employment practices must make it their priority to hear from workers themselves."

For workers to be able to speak openly, Mr Smyth said, it was essential they had the option to talk confidentially about their experiences.

There are two 100% FIFO operations in the region - BMA's Caval Ridge and Daunia mines, which are near Moranbah.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was fulfilling its election commitment to introduce choice for workers to live in the resource communities near to where they work.

"I believe there should be choice," he said. "If people want to live in resource or regional communities, they should have the opportunity to apply for jobs in resource communities."

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker, Mackay Mayor Deirdre Comerford and Queensland Exploration Council chairman Geoff Dickie are on the review panel, chaired by businessman Leo Zussino, former Gladstone Port Corporation CEO. It must report to the government by the end of July.

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