Dec 2013

Letter to the Editor - Let the local mining communities benefit

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Dear Editor,

For many years we have voiced concerns of the implications of FIFO on the communities where it is practiced and on the families involved who live apart for at least half of the year.

In the past quarter-century, governments have failed to respond with necessary legislative change to mounting evidence of the worsening impacts of a mining industry trend towards non-residential workforces.

The prevalence of 'fly-in, fly-out' (FIFO) staff-estimated to account for about half the mining workforce - is unequivocally destroying the social and economic fabric of the very communities which governments rely on to derive much of this nation's wealth. There are also significant human costs, on both the FIFO workers themselves as well as the family and friends from whom they cannot help but disconnect.

There is an inability of local councils to acquire ratepayer revenue commensurate with the actual population utilising town services/infrastructure, which already suffers from a lack of government funding attributable to Census figures that, due to FIFOs, fail to accurately reflect the true number of people utilising the services/infrastructure.

We have spoken numerous times on removing tax incentives that encourage FIFO mineral development and have recommended tax incentives for both employer and employees to support development in regional locations.

Abolish the FBT exemptions for fly-in mining and use such savings to provide a substantially increased zone rebate for residents who reside in these areas.

The A and B zone tax rebates should be removed for FIFO workers since they do not incur the extra costs associated with living in remote areas, and have their cost of living provided for while at work.

We have made numerous attempts at achieving reform in this area, and received many undertakings and promises over the years, but have ultimately been treated with contempt.

Hon Bob Katter MP
Federal Member for Kennedy

Contact Details

P: (07) 4061 6066
F: (07) 4061 6566
Visit: Cnr Edith and Owen St
Post: PO Box 1638
Innisfail, Qld 4860

Mount Isa
P: (07) 4743 3534
F: (07) 4743 0189
Visit: 42-44 Simpson St
Post: PO Box 2130
Mount Isa, Qld 4825

(when Parliament is sitting)
P: (02) 6277 4978
F: (02) 6277 8558

Local Call within the electorate
P: 1300 301 942

Email: Bob.Katter.MP@aph.gov.au