The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia has today launched an inquiry into the experience of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) and drive-in, drive-out (DIDO) workers in regional Australia.
“The Committee recognises that the use of fly-in/fly-out and drive-in/drive-out workforces in the mining sector raises a number of significant challenges and opportunities for individuals and their families, communities and employers,” Committee Chair Tony Windsor said today, “we are interested in exploring all of those issue and hope to also hear from mining companies who are utilising FIFO/DIDO for their employees.”
Coober Pedy in South Australia has been central to exploration and mining activities for approximately 5 years.
Mayor Steve Baines of Coober Pedy says, “fly in fly out does very little to improve socio economics in the region”.
“In order to encourage mine workers to residentially locate to our towns, the state government needs to provide a certain level of infrastructure.”
“There is very little input from state government with regard to regional infrastructure, but instead the government puts most of the infrastructure funding into the city whereas most of the income is provided by the region.”
“Towns is regional South Australia need to maximise on the opportunities of tourism, mining and support services, but the government doesn’t provide any infrastructure funding.” Mayor Baines said.
The Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, the Hon Simon Crean, has asked the Committee to look into a range of issues, including:
· the extent and projected growth of FIFO/DIDO work practices;
· the impact of FIFO/DIDO on individuals, communities and companies;
· long-term strategies for economic diversification in towns with large FIFO/DIDO workforces;
· provision of services, infrastructure and housing availability for FIFO/DIDO employees
Submissions close on 7 October 2011 and the Committee is keen to hear from a wide range of individuals, groups, communities and employers involved in FIFO/DIDO operations. The Committee will also be travelling throughout regional Australia to hold public hearings and meet with people involved with FIFO/DIDO. More information and the full terms of reference are available from www.aph.gov.au/ra or by contacting the Committee’s secretariat on 02 6277 4162.