A Western Australia effort to bring FIFO workers out of the camps and into town has given heart to the leader of one of Queensland’s largest mining regions.
Isaac Mayor Anne Baker has applauded the tenacity of the West Australian mining community of Newman which has secured the closure of a mining camp and the return of mine workers to local housing.
Mayor Anne Baker said the Newman community’s campaign will see 500 workers and contractors moved to town from BHP’s Kurra camp for its Whaleback iron ore mine on the town’s outskirts.
“East Pilbara Shire President Lynne Craige has said that being able to house the mine workers in town will add vibrancy to the community and help keep local businesses alive.
“East Pilbara’s actions mirror Isaac Regional Council’s lobbying of the State and Federal Governments to ensure mine operators provide opportunities for local jobs and local accommodation – in towns and off camps,” Mayor Baker said.
“In our economic climate with high housing vacancy rates, pressures on small businesses, and the need for local jobs and the opportunity for mine workers to live locally, this case gives us hope.
“It highlights the urgency for rules to ensure mine operators demonstrate genuine need for camp accommodation near established resource communities.
“The Queensland Government has shown great initiative to bring this issue to the Policy Table. Council will continue to work closely with Government to deliver better outcomes for Queensland Resource Communities through the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill,” Mayor Baker said.