Survey shows negative FIFO opinions
THREE-quarters of mining community residents believed mining developments with fly in, fly out workforces have a negative impact on resource towns, according to a new report.
Of the 559 respondents to an online survey, just 11% felt FIFOs had a positive impact on lifestyles and 10% regarded the impacts as positive for overall community wellbeing, the Social Impact of Mining Survey, released yesterday revealed.
Queensland Mining Communities president Kelly Vea Vea said the report confirmed what resource-based communities had known all along.
“Our communities are passionate supporters of the expansion of industry and the benefits that come with it,” Ms Vea Vea said.
“But we want to grow sustainably alongside industry, not be turned into mere bus stops on the road to massive mining industry profits.”
Open to people 18 and over who either lived or worked in a region impacted by mining development, the survey ran from March 7 to May 27.
“The vast majority of survey responses came from localities in the Bowen Basin region (Collinsville, Dysart, Blackwater, Emerald, Moranbah and Moura) which services most of Queensland’s coal mining and resources sector development,” the report stated.
“Responses were overwhelmingly negative.”
The report was significant as it found 61% of respondents supported new mining projects with a transient workforce of 25%, but 82% of respondents opposed developments which planned to recruit a 75% or more FIFO workforce.
But the Queensland Resources Council has described the QUT-commissioned report as a push-polling exercise.
QRC chief executive Michael Roche said the report was “one of the dodgiest surveys” he’d seen.
“For example, the survey implies that non-resident workers are taking over the Bowen Basin when they represent just 15% of the total population, according to the latest State Government data,” he said.
“The reality is that Bowen Basin communities have been outgrowing the rest of regional Queensland.
“92% of the the workforce in Isaac and 87% in Central Highlands owe their livelihoods to local resource sector employment and spending.”