Strains of rosters on mental health revealed at FIFO inquiry

ABOUT 10 submissions to the State Government's inquiry into fly-in, fly-out work practices have revealed rostering, mental health and workplace concerns surrounding the controversial topic.

The inquiry into FIFO practices and the controversial 100% FIFO mines will hold a public hearing today at Parliament House.

The parliamentary Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources Committee is investigating health impacts of workers and their families from long-distance commuting, the effects on rostering practices and the costs and benefits of a FIFO workforce.

In written submissions already lodged, FIFO worker Mark Hensel spoke about how rostering affected mental health and families.


He said he had always been on a two weeks on, two weeks off roster, which worked well.

However, he said problems occurred when companies employed their personnel on rosters such as three weeks on and one week off.

Dysart resident Carol Paul raised objections to 100% FIFO mines, saying it was discrimination against people who lived in mining towns.

She said there were eligible people living in towns which were originally built to support mines, but the residents could not get a job.

Mt Isa City Council made a submission opposing FIFO practices.

It also recommended formal processes should be designed for projects that were within 100km of an existing town or city to ensure FIFO did not have an adverse impact.

Meanwhile, Wide Bay Burnett Regional Development Australia said there were about 3000 workers in its region who worked in the resources sector, mainly as drive-in, drive-out employees.

It showed its support for FIFO work, saying many of their local employees would be happy to change employers if offered a FIFO job.

Residents and businesses have until Monday, May 25, to lodge a submission.

The committee will report on its findings by September 30.