The new Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017 commenced 30 March 2018. In short the Act will:
- Prevent the use of 100% fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workforce arrangements on operational large resource projects
- Prevent discrimination against locals in the future recruitment of workers
- Adopt a recruitment hierarchy prioritising recruitment from local and regional communities first then recruitment to the regional community
- Make an enhanced social impact assessment (SIA) mandatory for large resource projects
The stated object of the Act is, “To ensure that residents of communities in the vicinity of large resource projects benefit from the construction and operation of the projects. The object is mainly achieved by requiring owners of, or proponents for, large resource projects to:
- Prepare a social impact assessment for the projects; and
- To employ people from nearby regional communities; and
- Not to discriminate against residents from nearby regional communities when employing for the project”.
Who needs to know
Key stakeholders and owners of Queensland resources projects.
What you need to know
Additional compliance hurdles will now be in place for 100% FIFO resources projects in Queensland – whether existing or planned – which may also affect the construction phase of projects.
The new requirements affect large resource projects with an operational workforce of 100 or more workers and an environmental authority within a 125km radius of a regional community with at least 200 residents. This includes requiring proponents to produce a workforce management plan and setting approval conditions on these plans on project where the 100% FIFO prohibition is contravened.
The Act affects existing and future resource projects in Queensland.
Existing Operations – will need to review current recruitment practices and ensure that they align with the Act.
Future Operations – projects in the planning or approvals phase will need to design proposals to ensure that they comply.
Drive-in, Drive-out (DIDO) workforce – this could lead to an increase in DIDO workers from communities located within a 125km radius of the operation.
What you need to do
A Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is required for large resource projects to consider the potential positive and negative impacts the project may have on the social environment of nearby communities. The SIA may address:
- Community and stakeholder engagement
- Workforce management
- Housing and accommodation
- Local business and industry procurement
- Health and community well-being.
Further information and guidelines regarding the preparation of a Social Impact Assessment are available on the Coordinator Generals website here: http://www.coordinatorgeneral.qld.gov.au/assessments-and-approvals/social-impact-assessment.html
For further advice or to discuss the implications for your project, contact Wall Planning & Environmental Consulting.
 Proclamation – Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act 2017, page 1
 The Morning Bulleting, 25 August 2017, Breaking: 100% FIFO banned in Regional Qld.