FIFO code needed to protect workers and regional communities

The ETU has called for the establishment of a FIFO Code of Practice to ensure fly-in fly-out (FIFO) work positively impacts local communities and resources workers.

Appearing before Queensland Parliament’s Infrastructure Planning and Natural Resources Committee on Monday, Electrical Trades Union Queensland and NT Acting Secretary Peter Ong called for the establishment of a FIFO Code of Conduct as he spoke in support of the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Bill which will outlaw 100% FIFO workforces on Queensland Major Projects.


Mr Ong told the committee it was important a FIFO Code of Practice was established as part of the Bill to ensure local communities, workers and companies had confidence that jobs and opportunity were being delivered to local communities. And the health and wellbeing of FIFO construction workers in the resource sector was put before profits.

“Prior to the widespread use of FIFO, Central Queensland coal mines were staffed by workers who lived in the local community but now these big resource companies are using out of town and interstate FIFO workers who are discouraged from mixing or spending their money in the local towns, adding little value to the local community. This has destroyed the economies of many of these mining towns,” he said.

“The FIFO construction workers on the resource projects themselves suffer a raft of mental health issues and family breakdowns through the excessive nature of 4 and 1 rosters.

“In addition to creating jobs and driving growth through secure employment in regional communities we also need to focus on the welfare of FIFO workers as part of the overall FIFO problem.”

Mr Ong called on the government to work with project companies and industry groups with expertise in mental health and worker representation to develop a consensus driven code.

“We are seeing higher and higher suicide rates and instances of drug and alcohol abuse among FIFO workers which leads to the breakdown of marriages, while surrounding mining towns are devastated economically by the loss of local jobs and secure work,” he said.

“A FIFO Code of Conduct is essential to solving these urgent issues.”