Transient Workforce | Pilbara Regional Council
Pilbara Regional Council
Pilbara, Pilbara Regional Council, PRC
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Transient Workforce


Transient Workforce



  • Fly-in-fly-out operational workforces that are (wholly or partly) segregated from host communities do not properly contribute to the economic and social fabric of host communities, and damage the mental health and well-being of the fly-in-fly-out workforce
  • A more sustainable workforce and population is consistent with both the Pilbara Cities Vision, the Investment Blueprint and the Northern Australia White Paper.

Most people recognise and acknowledge that fly-in-fly-out work practices are considered a valuable instrument for the attraction and retention of specialist expertise and skills particularly around construction and providing choice for employees.

In the past quarter-century, governments have failed to respond with necessary legislative change to mounting evidence of the worsening impacts of a mining industry trend towards non-residential workforces.


Well before the current boom in the middle of the past decade, evidence of the trend toward FIFO was abundant in local government minutes and newspaper letters to the editor.


The prevalence of so-called ‘fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) staff-estimated to account for about half the mining workforce – is unequivocally destroying the social and economic fabric of the very communities which governments rely on to derive much of this nation’s wealth. There are also significant human costs, on both the FIFO workers themselves as well as the family and friends from whom they cannot help but disconnect.


The PRC has drafted a regional policy position on the accommodation of transient workforces, drawing on work previously conducted for the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into FIFO Work Practices and on conversations with the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the Development of Northern Australia.


The PRC seeks to establish a policy position that is both defensible from an evidence base, and consistent with the intent of the Federal government in this matter.


There has been an ample accrual of anecdotal and empirical evidence, throughout the past quarter-century and most recently to the fly-in, fly-out’ (FIFO) workforce practices in regional Australia inquiry.

Commitments Sought

That a commitment to be made to:


  1. Commit to official State Government policy stating that any current or proposed fly-in-fly-out operating workforces located within 60km proximity of an established population centre should be co-located and fully integrated within that population centre to the maximum extent possible; and
  2. Reject disingenuous arguments that segregated fly-in-fly-out workforce decisions are made in the interests of workforce safety considerations, noting that many metropolitan staff of resource companies travel considerably larger distances to and from work without undue risk.