CMEWA Inc - FLY IN FLY OUT, A MATTER OF CHOICE

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FLY IN FLY OUT, A MATTER OF CHOICE

13/02/13
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) urges Government’s Federal and State, to be wary of implementing recommendations from the Regional Australia Committee report into Fly In-Fly Out (FIFO), that could have unintended detrimental consequences to industry and communities in Australia.

CME Chief Executive, Reg Howard-Smith said CME supports recommendations which call for further evidence-based research and allow for a greater understanding of this important and growing work practice.

“With more than $175billion worth of resource projects either under consideration or being constructed, access to a skilled workforce, along with the high cost of doing business in Western Australia are major challenges for the sector.

“FIFO is about providing choice for workers and in a competitive labour market, employee choice is paramount. Choice of what job they do, who they work for and importantly of where they choose to live.

“FIFO and residential employment are complementary, not supplementary approaches in a total workforce management package,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

FIFO is a long established work practice in the WA resource sector and is expected to grow in the years ahead. Many employees are choosing FIFO rosters over relocating to regional WA. CME through its recent State Growth Outlook found the sector’s workforce in WA is almost 120,000 with approximately 55 per cent or 66,000 employed on FIFO rosters.

Mr Howard-Smith said recommendations which added to the cost of doing business should be discarded.

“Unfortunately we are becoming a less attractive place to develop resources projects when compared with global resource rich nations and investment may be driven to other, lower cost, regions because of additional layers of taxation and charges which are continuing to drive up cost for doing business.”

“Attraction and retention of employees would be severely impacted if companies attempted to force residential employment on their employees.

“Further, if FIFO was highly restricted or residential employment mandated, local communities and government would experience severe pressures on infrastructure and services. While at the same time valuable resource projects would not find a skilled local workforce and may not even proceed,” Mr Howard-Smith said.

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