THE mining companies' "Fly-in, Fly-out" model of getting workers to regional mines is failing.

According to Independent and the Member for New England, Tony Windsor, the present system is doing a lot of harm to regional towns and its residents.

Mr Windsor was in Rockhampton yesterday attending a meeting of all stakeholders over the release of the Australasian Mining Review (2013) at the Plaza Hotel and how to "strike the right balance" between the needs of the bush and the miners.

"This type of operation by the mining companies of flying-in and flying-out workers does impact on regional Australia and its towns," Mr Windsor said.

He said the Government had done little to reveal what it should do or would do about the negative impacts this type of operation was having on regional towns, its residents and the workers themselves.

"There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of people suffering from excess drinking and drug-taking and depression but no real evidence at this stage," Mr Windsor said.

"Many families are telling how when dad arrives home he's 'not here' and is taking a couple of days to calm down and when he has it's not long before he has to take off again.

"But this pressure is filtering through all of the community where mining workers are living."

And it was time the mining companies got smart and resolved this problem, he said.

Federal independent MP Tony Windsor.
Federal independent MP Tony Windsor. Chris Ison

"While the majority of mines are in the business of making money they will make the business decision of what is the cheapest way for them to engage their workforce.

"But some mining companies are getting smarter and looking at developing better ways of keeping their workers and communities engaged and talking to the towns to see what is in their best interest."

Meanwhile, Professor Drew Watson, from the CQUniversity, who was at the meeting yesterday, said there was no quick fix but a reasonable and workable solution needed to be found.

"There is impact on these communities where people are taken out," Prof Dawson said.

"We need to reply to this and in the longer term we must find a way to maximise the benefits to these towns and minimise the negatives.

"One of the biggest problems facing us is that not everyone is prepared to listen to each other but we will not progress to solving this problem unless we do."

The meeting winds up today.



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