Fly-in, fly-out motion gains backing

In a significant national win, Isaac Regional Council delegates in Canberra have seen their motion concerning responsible FIFO work practices unanimously endorsed by the National General Assembly in June.

The motion called for the assembly to support the federal inquiry fly-in, fly-out/drive-in, drive-out (FIFO/DIDO) report, Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia and to lobby Federal Government to adopt the report’s recommendations and include local governments as key stakeholders in its implementation.

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said the motion’s endorsement was a huge relief and great acknowledgement for the direction the Council had taken.

“Adoption of the recommendations will pave the way for successful FIFO/DIDO workforce practices and benefit governments across Australia – not just at the local level.

“This will undoubtedly influence decision makers into the future.

“It will also see social, economic and infrastructure policies, as well as funding challenges addressed to ensure responsible and sustainable workforce practices.”

Isaac Regional Council Chief Executive Terry Dodds said he was very grateful to the Council team who had worked tirelessly on the FIFO issue.

“It was a very proud moment for Isaac Regional Council and one we will continue to build on.”

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Owen Hasler said Councillor Baker’s motion pointed to the necessity for 21 recommendations of the report to be implemented prior to further developments in rural communities.

“There was no opposition to the motion as delegates clearly saw the relevance of the report and its recommendations to our many mining communities such as Gunnedah.

“The experience of such communities as Pilbara Regional Council in the Kimberley area of Western Australia demonstrated that the present tax system which encourages FIFO/DIDO activities is to the detriment of permanent residents.

“All costs of FIFO are largely tax deductible, such camps do not attract [Fringe Benefits Tax] as opposed to housing subsidies which attract tax, and any 50 percent concession on rental costs inevitably drives rental prices upwards.

“It was extremely pleasing that the delegates were able to understand and appreciate the [Federal MP Tony] Windsor-promoted report, and our local member for New England should take considerable pride and recognition for the work that he and his fellow committee members did in support of our communities.”