Feb 11, 2021

Bowen Basin bucked COVID employment trend

Bowen Basin bucked COVID employment trend Rockhampton Airport. Central Queensland industry demanded more from FIFO and DIDO employment during COVID-19.

Central Queensland industry bucked the COVID-19 trend and needed more FIFO and DIDO employment during the restrictions last year.

Figures in the recently released Bowen Basin Population Report show a three percent increase in non-resident, or FIFO and DIDO, populations which stood at 19,005 in the last week of June 2020.

That’s the survey period used as snapshot to measure trends.

Strategies to separate FIFO workers from communities

It represents 595 more workers who were involved in project construction and ongoing activity at existing coal operations says the Queensland Government’s Statistician’s Office which is run out of Treasury.

Bowen Basin Statistical region which bucked COVID trends to attract more non-resident employment last year

The Isaac region had the largest non-resident population. The figure in the reporting period was 12,770 FIFO and DIDO workers. That was followed by Central Highlands (3,890), Banana Shire (1,500) and Whitsunday (840).

The Whitsundays region, specifically Bowen, had the largest proportional increase of 21 percent or 180 workers. Isaac region had the largest growth by number of 640 non-resident workers during the reporting period.

There is an estimated 28,765 worker accommodation village beds in the Bowen Basin says Treasury. With 700 more being added in the preceding 12 month reporting period to the end of June last year.

Operators of other accommodation including caravan parks and motels reported negative fortunes. This was put down to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The report provides estimates of the number of non-resident workers on-shift in local government areas (LGA’s) and selected localities in the Bowen Basin has at June 2020. 

It also includes full-time equivalent population estimates, which aggregate the resident and non-resident populations to provide a more complete indicator of demand for certain services.