FIFO numbers starting to boom again in Bowen Basin

THE number of fly-in fly-out workers in the resource-rich Bowen Basin mining region has increased year-on-year and that trend is set to continue.

Queensland Government figures show there were 15,145 workers in 2017, an increase from 13,560 in 2016.

The numbers are still down on the heyday of 2011, 2012 and 2013 when there were more than 20,000 workers in the basin but Townsville Enterprise director of policy and investment Michael McMillan said it was likely the beginning of a resurgence.

"What you're seeing in the Bowen Basin is directly related to global resource prices," he said. "You're not seeing new projects or mines, it's about an expansion of the workforce.

"You're seeing projects amping up activity to capitalise on solidifying resource prices.

"That will increase into this year as that (price) trend is likely to continue into the first and second quarter."

Mr McMillan said many of those FIFO workers were from Townsville or ex-Townsville residents who had since moved.

Townsville residents will be able to learn more about resource projects and employment opportunities at the upcoming Mining and Resources Forum in May.

That event, held at the Townsville RSL, has in the past featured companies like MMG Dugald River and Adani and gives businesses a platform to brief the community about the engagement of local employees.

Mr McMillan said the inaugural forum last year had been strongly attended with about 250 locals turning out to learn about the projects.

News Corp Australia

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