FIFO the way to go: miner survey

 Results from a survey of 2000 mine workers refuted claims that strains on fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workers caused them to leave the industry within a couple of years, Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said yesterday.

Speaking at a Brisbane FIFO inquiry hearing, Mr Roche said more than 60% of Queensland survey respondents had been in the industry for five years or more.

"That is regardless of whether they live locally or commute as a FIFO or DIDO (drive-in drive-out) worker," he said. "This finding alone raises a big question over anecdotal academic commentary that people who work FIFO rosters struggle with the emotional strain for two years and then leave the industry."

The survey found Mackay district was the most popular home for mine workers, ahead of Townsville, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Yeppoon and the Sunshine Coast. Respondents indicated the cost of housing in resource regions was far outweighed by family and lifestyle preferences, Mr Roche said.

"Only one in 10 non-residential workers is interested in purchasing a house close to his or her work, confirming a 90% preference for 'living on the coast' among non-resident workers." Almost 68% said they were in their preferred accommodation arrangements, he said.

"Moreover, the majority of these people say that they have accepted their current position because their preferred residential arrangements were available. If there was not an accommodation choice, significantly fewer people would be choosing to work in the resources sector."

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