Sustainable mining futures and the liveability of mining villages
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Lindsay GreerLindsay Greer, Delwar AkbarDelwar Akbar, John RolfeJohn Rolfe
The boom-bust cycles within resources industries in Australia make it difficult to plan for the sustainable development of workforce locations in regional communities. A variety of logistical, financial and lifestyle factors are contributing to an increased use of non-resident workforce for both short and long term construction, operational and maintenance, raising a number of issues about the sustainability of mining village accommodation and development that this encourages. Forward planning to meet the needs of resource industries and their workforce requires knowledge of accommodation alternatives and preferences, especially when seeking to attract skilled professionals to regional areas. This requires consideration of factors beyond the simple utility of temporary worker accommodation. Planning for a sustainable mining future involves consideration of the liveability of mining villages and the preferences of mining workers for appropriate accommodation. This paper will explore these issues and draw upon a recent survey of mining villages in the Bowen Basin region to shed light on three significant issues for non-resident workforces; location choices, accommodation choices, and the impact of these on regional economic and social development within the resources sector in regional Australia.