Local communities accept that FIFO can be an important part of mining operations. But mining companies need to invest more of their profits into vital community infrastructure such as schools and hospitals, and not just what suits them. For example, BHP claims that it has supported the Moranbah community by spending $47 million upgrading its own airport for FIFO workers, the very infrastructure strangling that community.
Those who live in towns close to mines are often very proud of the resource operations that they have sustained and have relied on for generations. But mining companies are taking these communities for granted.
Local communities are not only locked out of jobs, but mining companies are setting up camps which can bring social problems and little benefit, rather than investing in proper housing and community infrastructure.
The FIFO roster system as implemented by BHP is also preventing any meaningful integration between locals and workers in nearby camps. Fatigued Drive In Drive Out (DIDO) workers have also caused many road accidents. The long roster cycles many FIFO workers perform are bad for their health as well as safety at work.
Practices such as ‘motelling’ and ‘double bunking’ where people are forced to share beds with colleagues on opposite shifts are having a negative impact on their sleep patterns and mental health. They are fundamentally undignified.
We campaign for:
- State government to require mining companies to get a ‘social license’ to operate: requiring them to give workers a choice where they live and dignity in how they work, and invest in proper community infrastructure.
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