Scott tells inquiry of FIFO pain
VETERAN Queensland MP Bruce Scott has told of the pain regional communities are feeling due to the resources boom and fly-in fly-out practices from Dalby to Dysart.
Mr Scott, who has represented the state's largest federal electorate of Maranoa for more than 20 years, spoke to a parliamentary committee inquiry into FIFO mining hearing on Wednesday about the positive and negative effects the resources boom is having in regional Queensland.
Mr Scott said miners in Roma were paying some $2200 a week to rent a five-bedroom house, while long-term residents such as teachers and medical staff were being forced out of their homes by rising rents.
He said it was clear that all governments were playing catch-up on the FIFO mining issues, and while some FIFO workers were needed for construction, the majority of workers should be required to live in the towns near mines once the set-up peak was over.
"The initial effects of the resources boom is significant on regional communities," he said.
"A not-so-publicised effect it has had in my electorate is that it immediately drained council staff, from plant workers and machinery operators to office administration staff.
"The mining companies are recruiting these staff, and the wages and salaries they pay are just too big for councils or many small businesses to compete."
He said while mining companies were picking up local workers, who were taking advantage of the opportunities available, other businesses were using seasonal workers from overseas to fill the gap.
Mr Scott said the resource boom had not been well-managed to date and there was a need to ensure that long-term growth, which could be beneficial for regional communities, was sustainable.