FOFI the new FIFO: re­port

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Jas­mine Bam­ford

A WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion re­port has flagged a re­gional men­tal­ity shift away from fly-in, fly-out work cul­ture, point­ing to Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der as a hub for fly-out, fly-in staff.

Re­gional com­mu­ni­ties have long had an un­easy re­la­tion­ship with FIFO, with phrases such as “can­cer of the bush” used to ar­gue the model sti­fles re­gional de­vel­op­ment.

But the Gold­fields-Esper­ance Re­gional Plan­ning and In­fra­struc­ture Frame­work, re­leased to­day, out­lines op­por­tu­ni­ties in pro- mot­ing Gold­fields-Esper­ance com­mu­ni­ties as sources of labour.

The idea is re­it­er­ated later in the re­port un­der ac­tiv­ity cen­tre strate­gies, high­light­ing the need to en­cour­age work­ers to live in the re­gion per­ma­nently.

New plans to mar­ket Kal­go­or­lieBoul­der and other Gold­fields towns as FOFI bases fol­lows the an­nounce­ment of a Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment cost-sav­ing mea­sure that re­moved tax off­sets for FIFO staff.

Off­sets were changed in the Fed­eral Bud­get, putting a stop to FIFO work­ers liv­ing in Perth claim­ing a tax ben­e­fit of up to $1173 a year.

The off­set was de­signed to help out with the costs of liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas, with those in most North­ern Gold­field towns able to claim the high­est re­bate.

City of Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der Mayor Ron Yurye­vich called plans to mar­ket Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der as a per­ma­nent work­ers’ hub a good idea.

“The idea that Kal­go­or­lie-Boul­der can be used as a base is ideal, com­pa­nies can source peo­ple that are ex­pe­ri­enced in the min­ing in­dus­try and a lot of peo­ple pre­fer the coun­try lifestyle rather than a city lifestyle,” he said.

“It takes the pres­sure off Perth air­port, for ar­gu­ment’s sake, travel time means less stress on the work­ers, it’s got to be a good idea.”

Also listed in the plan­ning re­port, which has been ear­marked as a “crit­i­cal driver” in iden­ti­fy­ing the re­gion’s eco­nomic po­ten­tial, were sev­eral pro­posed or po­ten­tial projects in the re­gion, in­clud­ing those at Nova, Mt Thirsty, Goon­gar­rie, Sco­tia and Siberia.

The in­tro­duc­tion to the plan­ning frame­work came with a dis­claimer: that any projects in­cluded in the doc­u­ment should not be taken as a com­mit­ment for Gov­ern­ment fund­ing, that in­di­vid­ual projects would be sub­ject to nor­mal bud­getary and trea­sury pro­cesses.

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