The Western Australian State Government needs to take a clear stance on regional fly-in, fly-out policy, according to the WA Nationals, who have welcomed a commitment from the WA Premier to look into Queensland’s legislation.

Resources towns in the Pilbara and the Goldfields have led calls for adoption of a Queensland-style policy, where large resource projects have been banned from employing a 100 per cent FIFO workforce within 125km of regional towns since 2017, when the policy was announced by the Palaszczuk Government.

The policy — which in July was expanded to eight more projects — applies to sites with at least 100 operational workers near towns with a population of at least 200.

WA Nationals Deputy Leader Jacqui Boydell said local government needed clear direction from the Premier.

“The Premier needs to make a firm commitment about what his Government is going to do in terms of developing a Statewide policy on transient workforce accommodation that is clear and concise, and companies, communities and local government can work with,” she said.

“At the moment it is left to local government to be dealing with, in some terms, global companies.

“Small shires get bullied in that process, so it is time the State Government take a very strong approach to set out some guidelines to how the future of mining development is going to happen.”

Ms Boydell’s comments come after WA Premier Mark McGowan gave a cautious undertaking to look into the policy during his visit to the Goldfields this week.

“We will have a look at the Queensland model, but I don’t want to send any signals to investors that somehow WA is not open for business,” he said.

“We want to make sure local communities are strong and vibrant, and that where possible people live locally and work locally.

“It’s a big State and there is not an easy solution to the issue, and clearly around WA different models work in different places.”

Ms Boydell said the ball was in the Labor Party’s court to bring forward debate in Parliament.

 

Image: Getty Images.