100% FIFO "absolutely despised" by voters

THE war against Queensland mines recruiting only from out of town has a new ally, with an LNP backbencher from Central Queensland saying total fly-in, fly-out policies are "absolutely despised" by voters.

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan said: "They (voters) have made it very clear to me that it is having a detrimental effect on the Mackay and Whitsunday regions".

"I don't believe in 100% FIFO arrangements and I won't budge on that."

Mr Costigan said no mines with 100% FIFO have been approved since the LNP took power, while Labor was "all over this idea like a cheap suit".

Last week, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney and Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said criticism of 100% FIFO was an "insidious campaign" by mining unions.

Two BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance coal mines in Moranbah only use workers flown-in from Brisbane and Cairns.

Jobseekers living elsewhere, including those in Moranbah, are not considered.

The deal for Daunia and Caval Ridge mines was done by the Bligh government as the resources sector grappled with a skills shortage.

After attacking the policy in Opposition, the LNP backflipped once in power.

The Newman government is now considering whether to allow BMA's proposed Red Hill mine to be the state's third 100% FIFO mine.

Mr Costigan is not the first LNP member to attack their own party for letting mines bypass local workers.

Mirani MP Ted Malone lodged a petition with 3317 signatures against 100% FIFO while in opposition. He told APN this year he remained personally against it.

Federal LNP member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Dawson MP George Christensen have each attacked the state policy, which they said amounted to discrimination.

Mr Costigan said he understood the criticism from his federal counterparts.

"If it's not discrimination against our local people then what is it?" he said.

"(Mining companies) are telling our people to suck eggs."

Mr Costigan said he had raised the issue with Mr Seeney.

Independents and minor parties are also united in their attacks on the policy.

Gladstone independent Liz Cunningham said it was a "mass exclusion that does not bear scrutiny".

Palmer United Party leader Dr Alex Douglas said forcing families to commute was "ridiculous".

Katter's Australian Party state leader Ray Hopper said 100% FIFO was "the worst case scenario for our regions".

Mr Seeney and Mr Cripps were unavailable for interview on Monday.

In an email statement, Mr Seeney said the government "wants to provide choices for people to live locally or to travel to and from mines, rather than forcing them to live in a certain place".


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