Mining jobs in Australia might not be all they are cracked up to be if an article and reports to the a Federal inquiry into Fly In- Fly Out employment practices are to be believed:
SIX-FIGURE salaries aren’t enough to stop one in three fly-in, fly-out workers from quitting within a year at mine sites across Western Australia, a parliamentary hearing into the industry will be told this week.
Problems with attrition rates, a culture of hard-drug abuse and the lack of family-friendly rosters will be key themes raised during the Perth hearings by the Federal Government’s inquiry into FIFO practices in regional Australia.
Witnesses giving evidence will include the WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Australian Medical Association, Fortescue Metals, Chevron Australia and the WA Network of Alcohol and Other Drug Agencies.
Several written submissions to the inquiry, including a report by the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, say the attrition rate for FIFO workers is now one in three within a year.
CME spokesman Bruce Campbell-Fraser said the chamber would give evidence that some mine sites suffered from a turnover rate even higher than that.
“Some sites achieve much lower numbers (of attrition) and some achieve a bit worse . . . it depends on factors like accommodation, camp life, flights, heat, even dust levels,” Mr Campbell-Fraser said.
“But, there is no doubt that retention of the workforce is a key focus for everyone in the sector.”
Mr Campbell-Fraser said in recent years there had been a dramatic improvement in accommodation for FIFO workers.
But unions representing FIFO workers told The Sunday Times a “prison camp” culture existed at many sites with “petty and demeaning” rules imposed on staff.