ADVOCACY / CURRENT ACTIVITIES
Transient Workforce Accommodation – or ‘FIFO camps’ – are facilities built by mining and resource companies to house workforces brought in from around the state and nation to work in on sites across the region.
There has been an ample accrual of anecdotal and empirical evidence, throughout the past quarter-century and most recently to the fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia inquiry. The Pilbara Regional Council asserts that fly-in-fly-out operational workforces that are fully integrated within host communities contribute to the development of sustainable host communities, and preserve the mental health and well-being of the fly-in-fly-out workforce.
Successive State Governments have failed to provide Western Australia adequate policy direction and oversight needed to address the significant economic and social challenges facing local government with regard the issue of transient worker accommodation. Well before the current boom in the middle of the past decade, evidence of the trend toward FIFO was abundant in local government minutes and newspaper letters to the editor.
In the absence of a cohesive state policy, the local government sector responds to the issue in an ad-hoc fashion, and is bound by restrictive red tape requiring any differential rating to be re-approved by the Minister yearly.
The Minister for Planning has appointed former Mayor of Vincent and newly elected Member for Perth, Hon John Kerry MLA, as her Parliamentary Secretary, with responsibilities for strata title reform, planning for thriving, liveable and connected communities, and developing a State Planning Position Statement on transient workforce accommodation locations.
This comes at a time where there is a renewed sense of interest in local government reform, and a new, collaborative relationship forming between State and Local Government. Given the Parliamentary Secretary’s extensive local government experience and the State’s willingness to review its position on this matter, the Pilbara Regional Council should engage with the State Government to ascertain whether it can be involved in the policy development process underway at the WA Planning Commission.
That a commitment to be made to:
The Pilbara Regional Council, representing the four local governments of the Pilbara: