The Queensland Government has added another eight large resource projects to the banned list for employing a 100 per cent FIFO workforce.

The decision intends to support more jobs in local communities under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017, by prohibiting the projects from employing a workforce made entirely of FIFO employees to help nearby regional communities benefit from employment opportunities.

In a statement, Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said 59 regional communities “will benefit from these declarations, including protections under the anti-discrimination provisions in the Act relating to the future recruitment of workers for the eight new projects”.

“This is the third update to the Coordinator-General’s published list of large resource projects, with the Act now applying to 69 large resource projects and 295 different nearby regional communities,” he said.

A large resource project, according to the Act, is one with 100 or more operational workers, while the ‘local’ catchment considers communities within 125 kms of a project.

The Coordinator-General has, however, used his discretionary powers to also declare Mount Colin Mine and Barbara Project in Queensland’s north-west as large resource projects under the Act.

The state’s independent Coordinator-General made the declarations for the following projects with the nearby regional communities to be included for each project (in brackets).

  • Baralaba North Mine (Baralaba Coal Company): Banana, Baralaba, Bauhinia, Biloela, Blackwater, Bluff, Bouldercombe, Duaringa, Glendale, Gracemere, Mount Morgan, Moura, Rockhampton, Thangool, Theodore, Woorabinda
  • Barbara Project (Round Oak Minerals): Cloncurry, Mount Isa
  • Bauxite Hills Mine (Metro Mining): Bamaga, Injinoo, Mapoon, Napranum, New Mapoon, Seisia, Umagico, Weipa
  • Century Zinc Mine (New Century Resources): Doomadgee
  • Cook Colliery (Bounty Mining): Baralaba, Blackwater, Bluff, Capella, Duaringa, Emerald, Middlemount, Rolleston, Springsure, Tieri, Woorabinda, Yamala
  • Mount Colin Mine (Round Oak Minerals): Cloncurry, Mount Isa
  • Mungana Mine (including King Vol Mine) (Auctus Resources): Atherton, Chillagoe, Dimbulah, Herberton, Mareeba, Mareeba South, Mount Garnet, Tinaroo, Tolga, Tolga West, Walkamin
  • Olive Downs (Pembroke Resources): Armstrong Beach, Carmila, Coppabella, Capella, Clermont, Dysart, Eton, Finch Hatton, Glenden, Middlemount, Mirani, Moranbah, Nebo, Sarina, St Lawrence, Tieri

It follows the state’s new FIFO laws coming into effect last year, representing the first time in Australia that social impact assessment, and in particular FIFO, has been regulated by an Act of Parliament.

Three key elements of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017 (SSRC Act) relating to applicable large resource projects commenced on 30 March 2018:

  • 100% FIFO prohibition
  • Anti-discrimination provisions making it an offence to discriminate against locals in the recruitment of workers
  • Social impact assessment is now mandatory for environmental impact statements.