FIFO concerns to be voiced
RESIDENTS from central Queensland towns worried about the impact of fly-in-fly-out mining work forces are claiming a minor victory after being granted a forum to express their concerns.
Former Queensland MP and mining communities advocate Ji m Pearce, Moranbah Action Group’s Kevin Cracknell and Kelly Vea Vea were granted a ‘ ‘ summit’’ after meeting Deputy Premier Paul Lucas yesterday to discuss transient mining workers.
Mr Pearce said house prices and rental proper- ties were already exorbitant in mining towns because of the strain of having fly-in fly-out workers.
‘‘ The deputy premier has told us that in two weeks, he will hold a summit. He’ll have the ULDA ( Urban Land Development Authority) involved, as well as the coordinator general and representatives of the communities,’’ he said.
‘‘ This gives us a great opportunity to go into more detail about why we are concerned about t h e 3 0 - y e a r p l a n t h e ULDA has in place.’’
Mr Pearce s ai d t he Urban Land Development Authority had put forward a 30-year plan for Blackwater and Moranbah without doing a socio-economic impact study.
Ms Vea Vea said nonmining workers were deserting mining towns and transient workers were putting additional stress on local services.
‘‘ We are losing key people – government workers, teachers – because i t ’ s expensive t o l i ve there,’’ Miss Vea Vea said. ‘‘ Rents can start from $ 600 to $ 1300 a week. Young people who live in the town, who do not have jobs in the mining industry have to live in caravans, five or six at a time, because they cannot afford the $ 1200 or $ 1300 rent.
‘‘ We’re not sure how people who are not in the mining community can actually afford to live in these communities.’’
A spokeswoman for the Deputy Premier said the meet i n g b e t wee n t h e mining town representatives and Urban Land Development Authority and c o - o r d i n a t o r g e n e r a l would be held within a fortnight.