The resource sector has launched a pre-emptive strike to counter what it fears will be a critical parliamentary report on the effects of fly-in, fly-out workforces in regional Australia.
A federal parliamentary inquiry into the costs and benefits of the mining sector's fly-in, fly-out workforce practices on regional Australia is due to report very soon.
The Minerals Council of Australia has just released what it says is the first ever demographic study of permanent residents in the nation's nine main mining regions.
"Basically the findings of this first phase debunk the myths and the anecdotal claims that the mining sector is hollowing out the regions in which it's operating - quite the contrary," said the council's chief executive Mitch Hooke.
He says the report by a KPMG team, led by demographer Bernard Salt, shows a higher standard of living in mining towns.
"They're growing at a faster rate than non-mining regions - more employment, higher incomes, better educational outcomes and more people moving into those regions," Mr Hooke added.
Home ownership levels have fallen in mining areas, and are 9 per cent lower than across regional Australia.
However, Mr Hooke says that probably relates to company supplied dwellings rather than fly-in, fly-out effects.
"I suspect that's probably got a bit more to do with the companies providing accommodation," he responded.
When asked whether he sees any downsides to fly-in, fly-out, Mr Hooke says he is waiting for the results from the next phase of the Minerals Council's study.
"We're not sure the extent to which downsides, as you call them, are actually greater or lesser in those regions than they are in society as a whole, and we hope to be able to get some sort of an insight into that as we work through phase two," he added.
However, residents in areas with large fly-in, fly-out workforces are doubtful of the report's findings.
"I'm a little bit sceptical.
I haven't seen the full report as yet, but to me they've come up with nothing new," said Fiona White-Hartig, the president of the Roebourne Shire, that encompasses the Pilbara in the west.
She says there are two sides to the fly-in, fly-out story and one of them is missing from the report.
"We have about 12,000 FIFO in our shire every night that do not pay rates, yet they utilise all the shire facilities, all our road infrastructure etc, but we can't get the income from that," she explained.
"They take their money and they spend it when they go home.
So we are essentially are supporting this whole economy with FIFO workers that don't support our town." Independent MP Tony Windsor chairs the parliamentary inquiry and thinks the mining sector is concerned about what his report may say.
"I wouldn't be surprised if the timing of the release of their report has been timed to come out in front of the committee's report, that might be a matter of 10 days or a fortnight in front," he said.
Mr Windsor says the KPMG report was submitted too late to make much of a contribution to his committee's findings.
"We've made passing reference to it in the chairman's report, but the documents were virtually written when a confidential report was sent across to the secretariat.
But no doubt it will add to the debate."