UP IN THE AIR: Figures showing an upward trend of chartered flights in Queensland may be altered by fly-in fly-out jobs. (INSET) Kelly Vea Vea.
UP IN THE AIR: Figures showing an upward trend of chartered flights in Queensland may be altered by fly-in fly-out jobs. (INSET) Kelly Vea Vea. Tom Gillespie

Why we need the FIFO Bill

GROWING up in Collinsville and now raising her own family in Moranbah, Kelly Vea Vea believes the proposed FIFO Bill could be the move to save regional towns ... and not just mining towns.

The former Moranbah Action Group chair and Mining Communities United president, now an Isaac Region councillor, was integral in starting the murmurings that generated the groundswell behind the FIFO inquiry in 2015.

The Bill from that inquiry was listed to be debated in Queensland Parliament on Tuesday. It would ban 100% FIFO and penalise mining companies found to discriminate against potential employees on the basis of where they lived.

"Once people are given an employment opportunity they will then decide whether or not they are going to move out here, FIFO or DIDO; with 100% FIFO they cannot do that,” Mrs Vea Vea, a Moranbah resident of 10 years, said.

Kelly Vea Vea says the proposed legislation around FIFO workers needs to address how mining communities grow and survive.
Kelly Vea Vea says the proposed legislation around FIFO workers needs to address how mining communities grow and survive. Campbell Gellie

That included Mackay, Rockhampton and Townsville, she said.

The Strong and Sustainable Resources Bill wasn't debated by lunchtime on Tuesday as State politicians returned to Parliament for the first time since June 16 and dealt with everything that had happened since, from four chickens living in the parliament gardens to Greens Senator Larissa Waters standing down.

Regardless, Mrs Vea Vea hopes when it is debated it is voted in to ensure regional communities can survive and grow.

"This legislation is so critical to the future of our communities,” she said. "What this Bill really does is create a framework that could facilitate genuine choice and I think it proposes a new degree of monitoring where it used to be largely self-monitoring from large companies.”

It would be a step forward for Mrs Vea Vea who, after growing up in Collinsville, was taken aback when she arrived in Moranbah in 2007 with her family.

"I saw real issues, particularly when you had a mining company... that had a policy, not to employ, not just anyone locally but anyone in regional centres,” she said.

"It was a really blatant move to disassociate the communities from the developments they were created to support.”



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