Monday, April 2, 2012

Firey scenes at FIFO meeting in Broome about james

Firey scenes at FIFO meeting (video) Prime7 - Yahoo!7

Broome hosted the Senates House of Representatives Inquiry into the Fly-In, Fly-Out (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia, on Friday, over a three hour period.

These Senates representatives flew in and flew out without affording our community the time needed to form the slightest of insights into our concerns as a community around the estimated 10,000 people fly in and fly out invasion workforce and hang on hopefuls needed for the proposed LNG refineries at James Price Point (Walmadan).

There was clearly a complete lack of interest amongst the representatives to really delve into the subject matter and little or no enthusiasm to really inquire about the truth and reality of our community’s current FIFO.

No genuine empathy was shown to us as a community that is currently facing the nation’s most serious of soul destroying industrialisation of:  our community,  Cultural Heritage, heartlands and recreation havens, living teaching resources, fishing and crabbing grounds and our bush tucker and medicine vine thicket rainforests.

Broome and all the outlining Dampier communities are looking down the barrel of: complete devastation of our multicultural tolerant communities, a heighten intensification of local economic disparity with unimaginable and intolerable environmental and health impacts.

The committee’s lack of interest was highlighted by the of quality questions asked, lack of follow-up to the answers given and no real open free or informative discussion took place.

The Senate Committee flew in at great expense to the taxpayer and yet as far as dollar for value goes Broome had their attention for the grand total of three hours. Two and a half hours was allocated to Small Business West Kimberley, Broome Shire Council, Broome Chamber of Commerce, and Ron Johnston.

Which gives rises to the most obvious question, how did a private business man, (Ron) whose principle source of income is accommodation units and who clearly has an enormous financial interest in the FIFO industry manage to get the privilege of half an hour to speak to this Senate Committee?

No representatives from any state government attended these hearings, such as the health, education & training, social welfare and justice, local police, or Indigenous departments or service agencies. Why, when it will be these very state government departments who will be forced into mitigating all the social dissection of our community with the infiltration of thousands of FIFO workers?. It is these very same departments that are currently struggling to cope in Karrartha and Port Hedland and who are at their wits end to retain staff, secure accommodation for them and offer some service in an ever increasing demanding situation.

It was very disappointing that non-government agencies did not submitted a paper or address this Hearing. Indigenous organisations, community service providers, health and education advisors, environmental, youth, women, men and community organistions did not attend and given the facts that it will be these very same locally cash strapped organisations who will have to deal with the forecast arrivals of the additional calamity on their already stretched and struggling services.

However, in all reality, it is right to say that the general community were not adequately informed of this Hearing and it is dubious as to why the Shire did not use their established community networks to notify the community of this Hearing, either on its website or their weekly update in the local paper. Given the level of community concern centred on this issue, it was the very least the shire could have done. It was left up to a number of concerned Broome residents, who were given less than thirty (30) minutes, in sum total, to raise all the social and environmental associated concerns, as the economic issues had been adequately addressed by the selected few beforehand.

Community speakers, were given three 3 minutes each in which to convey the immense apprehensions that we have as a community in regards to the proposed LNG refineries at James Price Point and the fly-in, fly-out ramifications and consequences that a project of this size and nature would bring to our town.  There was little or no time to touch on the recent past experiences and the present situation the Broome community currently faces with the few FIFO workers that are currently based in town.

Matters such as health, affordable housing, homelessness rates, housing waiting lists, the suicide issue, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health, limited capacity, resourses, and services, under age prostitution and the sense of loss of community and place and all the other vital issues that were barely touched on. Environmental issues arising from mass FIFO invasion like water use, the creation of massive rubbish dumps for construction and toxic wastes pit, air quality and many other matters of environmental concerns were given no exposure or voiced in this Hearing.

However, what this standing committee did do was clearly illustrate the exact reasons why  fly in and fly out practices do not work. They fly in with little or no knowledge about our community’s: antiquity, social temperament, shared principles and our expectations and anxieties for our future. They gain a very superficial, narrow and staged managed perspective of our community and the current social, economic or environmental issues we face.

The emotional stress caused, the economic hardships, the intolerable corporate bullying and the attempted buying of community loyalty, corrupt and irresponsible authorities, separation and segregation of our families and community and the complete and total lack of honest governance and accountability, are all part of the impacts and ramifications we have and are experiencing since Woodside flew into town. We were also subjected to a fly in and fly out police force last year, that came into our community to try and degrade and humiliate and which really only resulted in taking  good community policing back twenty 20 years.

The fact, that it is already necessary to accommodate Woodside and their contractors FIFO in a tourist resort and a fortified compound in a residential area, next to a school, is highly questionable. However, the local primary age school children are currently targeting this compound with stones and verbals. Why, because even the children feel their unfriendly alien nature and smell their airs of white superiority that seeps out onto the street and trickles into their neighborhood.

They fly in and then they fly out that’s why Broome coined its very own phrase, seagulls, years ago, they usually fly in a flock, dress in grey, squawk around, pick up crumbs of information that have been hand feed to them and then they fly away, thinking their job is done and what easy pickings.

1 comment:

  1. Looking at the new map of the gas plant in the advertiser,can't read the scribd ones as well,it seems only Woodside would have enough room for their 3 or 4 trains on that site.If that is right then where are the plans for gas plants 2 & 3?
    It seems like everything from Willie Creek to Manari will be gone.
    Hard to believe after years of this people still haven't a clue as to what is going on.