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Submission to the APH House of Representatives inquiry into the use of ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia

9 Oct 2011

This submission is informed largely by our ARC Discovery research project Safeguarding Rural Australia: Addressing Masculinities and Violence in Rural Settings (2008-2011) which set out to study reasons underlying the high mortality and morbidity rates for violent related harms among men in rural Australia. We did not intend to study mining communities, but our initial triangulation of data (mortality and morbidity data, accident data, recorded crime, etc) identified some high risk regions in WA and Qld where significant mining activity was occurring. When we undertook community studies of those areas (143 interviews with key stakeholders and community representatives), it became apparent that the housing of thousands of mostly men working as FIFO or DIDO workers in the minefields near those communities was having profound social and criminological impacts (see Carrington et al., 2010; Carrington et al., 2011. forthcoming; Carrington and Hogg, 2011; Carrington and Pereira 2011a, 2011b). While the study of the impacts on non-resident workers and their families was outside the scope of the research, it also became apparent that these workforce arrangements were having adverse impacts on the health and wellbeing of nonresident workers and their families as well. The effects of resource sector workforce practices involving the use of FIFO and DIDO non-resident workers thus became central to many of the issues discussed in our final ARC report.

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