That Australian Dream – Elusive in Mining Towns

The Australian Mining Cities Alliance (AMCA) calls on key decision-makers in the next Commonwealth Government to tune into the real issues affecting their electors in mining regions that underpin the national economy.

AMCA Chair Phil Barwick (Deputy Mayor of the Mount Isa City Council) highlighted the critical needs of mining town families being affordable housing and sustainable communities.

“Our key workers who don’t work in the mines but service the economic and social needs that the mines generate, need support to allow them to establish roots in our towns and cities.  But their chance of realising the ‘Australian Dream’ of home ownership is slipping away.  They are the backbone of mining communities and truly deserve affordable housing to continue to do their important work which ultimately underpins our nation’s prosperity.”

“We want them to build their homes and raise their family in our communities.  But over many years we have witnessed extreme volatility in housing markets in our mining cities and regions, which cannot be eliminated by normal market conventions.  We believe this is the time for the Government to do something about it.” he said.

“For this reason, AMCA strongly supports the ‘More Than Mining’ campaign. This important initiative proposes simple reform that will address critical housing affordability barriers in mining cities and towns and we call on those aspiring to lead the next Government to remove inequities particularly in the application of Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) concessions.”

“We were pleased to see the constructive acknowledgement of this initiative in the recently released report titled “The Australian Dream, Inquiry into housing affordability and supply in Australia” by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Tax and Revenue.”

“But it is now time for candidates for this election to commit to action.  The mining communities that make it possible for this nation to prosper warrant your attention to their needs.”

“In addition to housing affordability, our mining communities are heavily impacted by the Fly-In, Fly-Out arrangements favoured by many mining companies.  We call on candidates to commit to re-activation of dormant recommendations of previous inquiries and enhance the sustainability of mining communities.”

“In particular we seek real action on three of the key recommendations made in the report titled “Cancer of the bush or salvation for our cities?  Fly-in, fly-out and drive-in, drive-out workforce practices in Regional Australia” by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia (February 2013).”

“The Government has a clear responsibility to these communities to monitor the impacts of FIFO and to manage them.”


Authorised by Gary Stevenson, Executive Officer, Australian Mining Cities Alliance. 19 Lancashire Drive, Mudgeeraba, Qld, 4213