Four out of 21 FIFO recommendations given tick of approval
THE Abbott government has largely ignored more than half of the recommendations of a lengthy inquiry into FIFO practices across the country completed in 2013.
More than two years after the inquiry report was tabled, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss on Thursday revealed the government's response in parliament.
He deemed most of the recommendations a State Government responsibility, and his office could not provide the full response before deadline on Thursday.
The government has agreed to four of the 21 recommendations, "noting 14 others" and rejecting three others, although specific actions have not yet been detailed.
The Minerals Council of Australia and the Queensland Resources Council welcomed the government's response.
Led by then-independent Tony Windsor, the former committee urged action on studying the social, health and economic impacts of FIFO on people and services in regional towns.
It also called for the Small Business Commissioner to help local small businesses get contracts with big mining firms, and changes to the treatment of FIFO workers under fringe benefits tax and zone tax offsets.
The committee also urged the National Housing Supply Council create a strategy to make housing more affordable in towns affected by FIFO practices, but the current government has since abolished the council.
Mr Truss said the government had already begun work on change to the zone tax offset, which were released in the May budget, and the government had "remodelled" the Small Business Commissioner's role.
He said FIFO was a legitimate practice to "ensure access to a reliable workforce for regional employers", but acknowledged it did have an impact on local communities.
"The recommendations have a broad range of regional implications and a number of areas for action across all tiers of government," he said.
While the government's response was tabled in parliament, the documents had not yet been released online.