AN Orange councillor says there is no need to tax fly-in fly-out mine workers to compensate for their financial impact on mining communities.
Councillor and former Mining Related Councils delegate Reg Kidd has objected to moves to hit miners with a $20 tax each week after the idea was raised by retired Queensland politician Jim Pearce.
Mr Pearce argued that the thousands of commuting workers in mining communities are having a demoralising impact on the quality of life for permanent residents, while putting pressure on their infrastructure and failing to inject money into the economy.
The tax would be paid by every fly-in fly-out or commuting worker at mining, gas and sub-contracting companies, under his proposal.
Cr Kidd argues that this is not the case in Orange.
“I know a lot of people in Orange who benefit from mining, such as from rental, and attending restaurants and pubs,” Cr Kidd said.
“There is also a prolific amount of people in Orange who work in the mining industry.
“Places like Pybar and Newcrest, I would say the bigger percentage of their workforce are permanent residents of Orange.”
Cr Kidd said he would however like to see the government channel some funds to mining communities.
He said it shouldn’t come from companies like Newcrest, that makes contributions to three councils under a voluntary planning agreement.
“Newcrest does pay big money to Blayney, Cabonne and Orange councils,” he said.
“I think the government should be putting in to support these communities for infrastructure needs.”
These infrastructure needs include increased accommodation options, increased permanent housing development options, and road maintenance.
Blayney mayor Bruce Kingham did not wish to comment on the proposal.
Blayney currently houses around 200 Cadia workers in a temporary accommodation village.