GOOD NEWS: State Development Minister Cameron Dick (centre) praised the decision.
GOOD NEWS: State Development Minister Cameron Dick (centre) praised the decision. Cordell Richardson

Cracow residents to benefit from FIFO ban ruling

CRACOW residents are set to benefit from greater access to mining jobs after a State Government decision to declare it a "nearby regional community" to the Cracow gold mine.

The decision was made after an official request by Banana Shire Council, and means local residents will not be able to be discriminated against in future hiring practices.

The mine will also not be able to hire a 100 per cent FIFO workforce.

Cracow was not included on the State Government's first list of "nearby regional communities" under the new laws because communities within 125 kilometres of large resource projects must have a population of more than 200 to be eligible.

Cracow sits just three kilometres from Evolution Mining's gold project, but had a population of 89 people at the last census in 2016.

But the independent Coordinator-General last month waived the strict conditions for the town, along with five others: Yuleba, Jackson, Hodgson, Muckadilla and Amby, which have been declared nearby regional communities for the Gladstone LNG project.

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the decision was great news for those communities.

"Their inclusion ensures that residents have access to fair job opportunities as the Act prohibits 100 per cent FIFO for operational workforces," he said.'

A spokesperson for Santos, which operates the Gladstone LNG project in Maranoa, said the company supported the declaration of the five towns under the Strong and Sustainable Resource Communities Act.

"Santos is committed to including local residents in the operational workforce and ensuring that residents of nearby regional communities are able to apply for positions without discrimination when they become available," the spokesperson said.

58 of the company's employees reside in the Maranoa Regional Council area, according to Santos, and the Gladstone LNG project employs a total of 73 people from southern regional Queensland who drive to the field rather than fly, comprising a total of 21 per cent of the project's 346 workers.