FIFO con­cerns to be voiced

Townsville Bulletin - - The Goss -

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.

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