Industry pores over work troubles

KEY workforce issues impacting projects and investment across Queensland were discussed at a resource industry forum in Gladstone yesterday.

Workplace policy reform and skills shortages led discussions at the event, held by resource industry employer group AMMA.

"The industry is facing some very serious workforce challenges including skills shortages, workplace relations matters and new developments in areas like work health and safety, FIFO practices and superannuation," AMMA industry executive director Minna Knight said.

"Central Queensland is the heart of the state's $160 billion resource industry, with record investment in major coal and gas projects poised to generate significant economic benefits for decades to come.

"The region's big three LNG projects under construction have a combined capital expenditure of almost $50 billion and once in production will lead the state's economy for decades. Meanwhile, a strong pipe line of projects in the Galilee Basin will soon make it the biggest coal-producing region in Australia."

Ms Knight said the projects would only come to fruition if resource employers could effectively manage a range of workforce and labour issues and minimise the adverse impacts of the severely deteriorating workplace relations environment.

"This meeting is all about discussing what's happening at a local level and how resource employers can prepare their workplaces to deliver the employment and economic benefits this heightened activity promises," she said.

The progress of the federal fly in, fly out inquiry into workforce practices was also discusssed. Ms Knight said the industry continued to rely on FIFO workers to ease the pressure of skills shortages.

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