Western Australia’s fly-in fly-out workers have been integral to maintaining mining production in the state during the peak of the pandemic. However, nearly a year on, stories are emerging of the personal sacrifices some miners have had to endure due to strict restrictions at the border. With lockdown impositions described as ‘house arrest’ by some, we ask if the disruption seen in 2020 will affect on this mode of work in future? And will it deter new entrants to the industry?
Also, following the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a giant trade deal consisting of 15 ASEAN nations including Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and South Korea, BHP’s chief executive has emphasised the importance of strengthening bilateral ties. We examine the deal and how mining fits into such trade agreements.
Elsewhere, with Australia sitting on the frontlines of the global climate crisis, the mining industry is facing increasing risks from its exposure to global warming. As climate risks are already a reality for the mining sector in Australia, does there need to be a new approach to tackling the crisis and reducing operational risk? A new report from Deloitte, which cites mining as one of the country’s most climate-exposed industries, argues exactly that.
In this issue
Is there a future for Australia’s fly-in fly-out mining workers?
Pandemic-related border restrictions and quarantine requirements have been especially punishing for Western Australia’s fly-in fly-out mining workers. As the state’s premier calls on companies to hire more locally, Heidi Vella investigates the future for fly-in fly-out workers and whether a skills crisis is imminent.