Research focus on FIFO families, particularly on spouses

WITH a husband on a fly-in fly-out roster, Yeppoon's Bonita Lousich wanted to know how much a commuting roster affected families.

And she wants you to tell her about your experience.

The move follows research results on FIFO from Edith Cowan University that found workers were suffering from depression at more than twice the rate of the Australian population.

Ms Lousich (pictured) said commuting had a big impact on regional communities in Queensland, but most research had only been conducted on the wellbeing of workers themselves.

"I was just interested in the effects it has on spouses with partners being away for such a long time," she said.

"It has its ups and downs, like all lifestyles."

Ms Lousich said she hoped to present her findings to the Queensland Parliament's inquiry into FIFO and other long-distance commuting work practices in regional Queensland.

The state's inquiry is investigating the health impacts on workers and families, the extent and projected growth in FIFO work practices by region and industry and its effects on established communities.

"I am hoping this will get a conversation started... if they are over 18 and have a partner in the mining industry, I would love to get their input; whether or not their partners are commuting," she said.

"I am expecting to find that the levels of social support that spouses have will be a big difference on their psycho-social wellbeing.

"It's a predominant practice now, so it is very surprising there hasn't been more research on it."

Ms Lousich hopes her paper will be available in September. To take part in the online study, contact bonita.lousich@

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