FIFO camp plan stirs controversy
■ A decision by WA Premier Colin Barnett to let an operational fly-in, fly-out workforce reside within a strategic industrial area instead of in Onslow has been followed through in a proposed State planning scheme.
Temporary FIFO accommodation was previously allowed in the Ashburton North SIA for workers helping construct Chevron’s $30 billion Wheatstone Project. After discussions with the company last year, Mr Barnett said instead of a separate camp being built in Onslow, workers could stay in the construction camp in the ANSIA.
The proposed scheme, which has gone out for public comment until January 27, has boundaries drawn around Chevron’s ANSIA camp in a “special use zone”.
The rest of ANSIA will allow only construction camps but, with this decision, Mr Barnett has demonstrated his ability to work around this.
Mr Barnett’s captain’s calls regarding State agreements near Onslow and, most recently, Newman’s Kurra Camp, have drawn the ire of his Nationals WA partners.
Minister for Regional Development Terry Redman said he had significant concerns about the State agreement framework and the lack of transparency and visibility regarding decisions made under those agreements.
“I will use all the powers that I have under my authority, and my team, to get a good outcome for the people of Newman, because while it is the people of Newman today, it may be the people of other communities around regional Western Australia next time,” he said.
The Shire of Ashburton was livid when Mr Barnett made the ANSIA decision and councillors will consider a submission for the public comment process.
Shire president Kerry White said it was expected Minister for Planning John Day would support the scheme.
“The Shire has an important and timely opportunity to raise issues of local importance and we are confident that the State Government’s planning processes will give due consideration to any matters raised by the Shire,” she said.