Putting a stop to FIFO

View From the Paddock

Keith Douglas, Cloncurry auctioneer and real estate agent.

Keith Douglas, Cloncurry auctioneer and real estate agent.


Fly-in fly-out policies for mining workers have long been a drain on the bush.


Fly-in fly-out policies for mining workers have long been a drain on the bush – people contributing nothing to the community, yet taking away lots of money.

When a family comes to live in an area, the school, the businesses, all clubs and community organisations benefit.

Now the present Queensland government has announced it will put a stop to FIFO practices and all local governments in resource areas should be 100 per cent behind this decision.

FIFO, combined with the lack of a policy to return a percentage of mining royalties to the areas they are mined from, has halted long-awaited growth.

Mining employment should only be available to those people who relocate or already reside in the area the mine is operating in.

Mines cry it's too hard to obtain staff without FIFO.

I have had countless discussion with mine managers who have been brainwashed to believe changes to this disgusting practice  of violating a town for its money, can never be changed.

l have heard all the pro-FIFO arguments and cannot find one that stands up.

Let me go one step further – it's time we stopped over-populating the coast and particularly the south east corner of Queensland, and develop the bush.

Make air fares cheaper to and from these places in the bush that provide great wealth to our state and nation, and allow the people who live in these places the ability to visit major towns for medical, social and family reasons.

I know first-hand what wealth is generated in my home town of Cloncurry yet dollar for dollar the return to these places is pathetic.

We now see government staff  – rail workers, nurses and others jumping on the band wagon.

Once people took pride in what they put into a community not what they could get out of the place.

I reckon people might be surprised  at just how much they will enjoy the experience of life in a rural community – five minutes to the store, no traffic, people with time to chat, friendships that last a life time, lots of great bush places close handy to explore, and being home every night watching your children grow – a lot to be said for it!


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