Wednesday, February 13, 2013

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities?

Fly-in, fly-out workers have long divided regional communities, and now a parliamentary report says the practice threatens to 'hollow out several inland towns.'

The long-awaited federal inquiry, chaired by federal independent Tony Windsor, makes 21 recommendations, including improving housing and changes to tax benefits.

House of Representatives Committees – Parliament of Australia:

Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia

On Wednesday 13 February 2013, the House Standing Committee on Regional Australia tabled its report on the inquiry into the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia entitled Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities? Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia.


  1. Certainly has the attention of the BCC.
    Put them all on good behaviour bonds seems to be their reaction.


    We knew they were mad but hows this?

    Coalition ponders $30bn dam plan: report

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is reportedly considering building up to 100 dams across the country as part of a plan to prevent floods, fuel power stations and irrigate food bowls.

    News Limited on Thursday reported that the leaked draft policy discussion paper included a $500 million plan to raise Warragamba Dam in Sydney.

    The total cost of the water management plan, if all projects were approved, would be $30 billion.

    In a foreword to the document, shadow finance minister Andrew Robb reportedly wrote: "A coalition government will not support the construction of dams for the simple sake of building dams, however, it will back projects that bring demonstrable community benefits.
    "Many opportunities to pursue projects that would enhance water security, help to mitigate floods, provide hydro power, and perhaps most importantly to grow our economic prosperity while being sensitive to the environment, have been missed."

  2. Rio Tinto joins in the mantra of investing more wisely,getting higher returns.

    Rio Tinto posts first loss on massive write-downs

    Rio Tinto has posted its first loss under its current corporate structure after recently writing $US14.4 billion off the value of some of its assets.

    The world's third biggest mining company reported a $US3 billion loss for 2012, down from a $US5.8 billion profit the year before.

    However, the loss was due to $US14.4 billion worth of write-downs in the value of its aluminium and coal businesses.

    (makes the plan for the Mitchell Plateau mine and smelter look a bit shakey)

    His replacement Sam Walsh, the former head of Rio's Australian iron ore operations, says he will be more conservative about new projects and acquisitions.

    "I intend to strengthen the existing management systems, bringing greater rigour to internal challenge and debate, greater clarity and accountability to decision making, and clearer line of sight to the critical business issues that exist across the organisation," he noted in the company's report.

    "We are reinforcing our capital allocation processes, and will only invest in assets that, after prudent assessment, offer attractive returns that are well above our cost of capital, and which offer a superior return when compared to returning cash to shareholders."

    (Woodside and Shell are watching and listening)


    Really great news for the Yindjibarndi.

    Yindjibarndi court decision brings 'tears of joy'

    The Federal Court has ruled the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation the only group legally permitted to represent traditional landowners in an ongoing Pilbara mining dispute.

    Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is trying to establish the multi-billion dollar Solomon Hub iron ore mine in the East Pilbara.

    FMG offered traditional owners a $4 million benefits package, which was accepted by a breakaway Yindjibarndi group.

    The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) opposes the package and has now won the legal right to be the sole representative of traditional owners, after the court overruled the powers of the breakaway group.

    Yindjibarndi's CEO, Michael Woodley, says the door is always open for FMG to negotiate a new deal.

    "What is also open as well is for the Yindjibarndi people who moved away from the YAC and formed the breakaway group, are also willing to come back into the fold and start moving towards a positive part that gives Yindjibarndi people best outcomes that we all deserve," he said.

    Mr Woodley says his group will continue to oppose FMG's current plans.

    "It was a decision that rejuvenated the spirit in the community," he said.

    "It's not a good site, the dispute that's happening in the community ... families against families.

    "The decision came down at a time where people kind of needed it. It was overwhelming in terms of, tears of joy basically."

    FMG CEO Nev Power says he is confident the the Federal Court decision will not affect the company's operations.

    In a statement, Mr Power said FMG will continue to work with the Yindjibarndi people to reach an agreement.