FIFO numbers fall in the Bowen Basin

Posted March 3, 2016

Bowen Basin Map

The latest statistical analysis on non-resident working population trends in the Bowen Basin shows what everyone knows.

There are less workers flying in and out now than in the boom.

The figures from The Queensland Government Statistician’s Office Bowen Basin population report 2015 are accurate as of mid-2015 and show four per cent, or 690 less workers on shift than at the same time in June 2014.

That came in at 15.665, down from a peak of 24,035 workers in 2012.

Other key findings of this report include:

  • While mine closures and workforce restructuring have been contributing factors, most of this downturn has been due to completion of construction on new coal mine and coal seam gas (CSG) projects.
  •   The LGA of Isaac (R) had the region’s largest population of non–resident workers on-shift in June 2015 (10,400), some 685 persons or 6% fewer than the preceding year.
  •   Numbers of non–resident workers on-shift also fell in Banana (S) (–545 persons or –38%) and Whitsunday (R) (Bowen only), (–35 persons or –8%) during the year to June 2015.
  •   By contrast, the non-resident population of Central Highlands (R) grew by 580 persons or 17%, reaching 3,955 in June 2015. Losses of production workers at some mines in the LGA were offset by large but temporary workforces engaged in maintenance and plant upgrades.

Bowen Basin region

  •   Worker accommodation villages (WAVs) across the Bowen Basin
    housed around 14,940 non–resident workers on-shift (or 95% of the total) in June 2015. The balance of 725 workers was accommodated in hotels/motels and caravan parks.
  •   There were 54 WAVs operating in the Bowen Basin in June 2015, a net loss of nine establishments from June 2014. Total capacity of Bowen Basin WAVs in June 2015 was estimated at 26,945 beds, a decrease of 1,265 beds or 4% from June 2014.
  •   The proportion of hotel/motel rooms in the Bowen Basin that were vacant and available decreased slightly, from 65% in June 2014 to 63% in June 2015.
  •   Exports of coal from Bowen Basin mines for the year ending 30 June 2015 reached an all-time high of around 212.27 million tonnes (Mt), an increase of around 11.45 Mt from the preceding year.


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