Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Jacqui Boydell MLC has slammed the State Government for its weak comments on reducing Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) work practices in regional WA.
Ms Boydell said it was clear new Minister for Mines and Petroleum Bill Johnston, whose electorate is located in Cannington, had no credibility on the issue and called for a more comprehensive commitment from the Government to reduce FIFO where possible.
“The Nationals have taken a strong position against FIFO operational workforces and we were vocal in supporting the uptake of recommendations outlined into a recent Parliamentary inquiry into the impact of FIFO on mental health,” Ms Boydell said.
“The Nationals have always been clear about the need to reduce FIFO in order to encourage growth of mining towns into vibrant and sustainable communities, but the silence was deafening from Labor.”
Ms Boydell said The Nationals WA put forward a policy aimed at incentivising operational workforces through the ‘Live where you work policy’ during the election campaign which would have provided payroll tax concessions for employers which hired local workers.
“While The Nationals were putting forward tangible and achievable solutions to reduce the level of operational FIFO in regional WA, predictably Labor failed to put forward anything at all,” Ms Boydell said.
“It’s obvious Labor was more focused on making lavish promises in Perth than on improving outcomes for regional people and now they’re desperately trying to claw back some credibility in regional WA.”
Ms Boydell said Labor had even defended BHP Billiton’s push to extend the Kurra Village lease in Newman, an operational FIFO camp, only 12 months earlier.
“Where was Labor when The Nationals opposed the extension of the Kurra Village camp or Gap Ridge,” Ms Boydell said.
“At the time Stephen Dawson said we shouldn’t blame BHP for favouring a FIFO workforce in Newman and defended the company’s conduct!
“Labor even opposed The Nationals’ plan to make the big miners pay their fair share by updating legacy State Agreements, so how can regional West Australians trust them to take up the fight with the big miners to reduce FIFO.”