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Fly in Fly Out Workers Not Helping Economies of Remote WA Mining Towns

Mining activities in the Pilbara region of Western Australia (WA) do not seem to be helping the local economy as workers fly out with the money that they earn.

A report by a Commonwealth Bank found that 78% of the salaries earned by miners in the Western Australian communities of Karratha, Kununurra and Port Hedland are not spent in the local region.

This happens because the workers in the region work on a fly in and fly out basis, often two weeks on and one week off. The Economic Vitality Report by the Commonwealth Bank also found that women are earning up to 22% less than their male colleagues in these mining areas.

When compared with the mining community in central Queensland this figure is quite appalling. In the mining regions of central Queensland only 39% of the mining salaries leave the area. The mining communities in Moranbah, Clermont, Emerald and Gladstone are all contributing to the local economy.

The unique work arrangements in Western Australia mining industry do not allow for investment and support of the local economies. The Deputy Mayor of Port Hedland , Arnold Carter said that the common use of fly in and fly out workers in Pilbara was detrimental to the economy of the local communities.

Joel Scanlon

Written by

Joel Scanlon

Joel emigrated to Australia in 1995 and worked for five years in the mining industry as an exploration geotechnician, using GIS mapping and CAD software. Upon moving to the North Coast of NSW, Australia Joel worked as a graphic designer for a leading consultancy firm. After that, he ran a successful business providing web services to businesses along the eastern seaboard of Australia. During this time, he developed and launched News-Medical.Net. Joel has been working with AZoNetwork since the company was founded in 2000.

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