FIFO battle as LNP accused of being ‘toadies’ to mine firms
THE FIFO battle erupted in State Parliament this week, with one Labor member accusing the LNP government of siding squarely with the resources sector.
Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Jo-Ann Miller slammed the LNP for being "toadies to the mining companies of Queensland".
Mrs Miller went on to say LNP representatives should sport "proudly supported by BMA" tags.
"I would like to ask why these people in this House have not got on their foreheads 'LNP proudly supported by BMA', 'LNP proudly supported by Glencore', 'LNP proudly supported by Rio' and the others," Mrs Miller said in Parliament.
Mrs Miller made the remarks when Leader of the Opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk called on the LNP to "follow through" with a promise to end 100% FIFO operations.
"It is the mining companies in Queensland who have got their puppet strings out," Mrs Miller said.
But Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said Mrs Miller was forgetting the past.
"Mrs Miller seems to have conveniently forgotten that the Labor Party is the only government in Queensland's history to have ever introduced a 100% FIFO mine workforce," Mr Seeney said.
In the midst of the FIFO debate, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said blaming FIFO operations on the coal industry downturn bore the hallmarks of a witch hunt.
"The economic challenge for Central Queensland ...is not 900 FIFO positions at the Daunia and Caval Ridge mines, but the loss of 9000 coal jobs state-wide," Mr Roche said.
Premier Campbell Newman also hit back at Mrs Miller's comments and said only two of about 60 mines in Queensland had 100% FIFO arrangements, which were approved under the previous Labor Government.
"This government is unequivocally against 100% FIFO," Mr Newman said.
He said the new Queensland Plan addressed the needed for improved infrastructure and assets in regional Queensland.
"We want the smaller communities in Queensland, the Blackwaters, the Clermonts, the Alphas to be built up and that's what this plan envisages," he said.