FEDERAL MP David Littleproud has called out the region's CSG companies, demanding they outline to him their local procurement practices and employee recruitment.
Mr Littleproud has taken the hardline stance because he does not want the Maranoa to be seen as the hub for fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) gas workers and has called for greater transparency.
"There's been a recent downturn of construction operations, especially with the announcement of a major employer, Ostwald Bros, going into voluntary administration, so I'm calling for all gas companies to outline what they're doing to support our local communities,” Mr Littleproud said.
"I've asked the CSG companies to provide a copy of their procurement policy and what goods and services are claimed locally to see if our local businesses are being supported - whether its machinery maintenance, grocery shopping and everything in between.
"How gas companies view the word 'local' is also of interest so I've also asked for the procurement definition of "local” employed by the companies' sub-contractors and the number of direct and sub-contracted employees who work in my electorate.”
Mr Littleproud said he believed a disjointed DIDO or FIFO work schedule eroded family life and limits a person's time to engage with the community, adding gas workers and their families should live in region where they're employed.
"Families are the building blocks of our rural and remote communities and, as we're experiencing a bit of a downturn at the moment, we need to stimulate our economy by enticing families to live here. It's a thriving place to call home not just during shift work.”
One of the largest CSG companies in the region, Arrow Energy, has responded to Mr Littleproud's demands, stating the majority of their employees are local.
"Arrow is committed to supporting the areas where it operates,” An Arrow Energy spokesperson said.
"Arrow has been operating in Dalby for more than 15 years, and has a strong history of employing local residents and investing in the Surat Basin.
"The vast majority of our existing Surat workforce resides locally. The continued ability to provide local employment opportunities is a priority for Arrow.”
The spokesperson also noted Arrow has poured millions of dollars into community projects that have helped develop and strengthen the region.
"Arrow continues to support local organisations through its Brighter Futures community investment program, from local primary school grants to funding Australia's first mobile cardiac clinic that sees patients in the Surat Basin fortnightly,” the spokesperson said.
"Arrow is currently developing a response for Mr Littleproud, and will continue to work with Mr Littleproud on this issue as we recognise the importance of supporting regional businesses, suppliers and community groups.”
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