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18/08/2007

Fly in for a month, fly out for a week

There's so much work to do in Karratha that the local workforce can't meet the demand. So thousands of extra people have to be flown in.

But these fly-in/fly-out workers don't live in town permanently.

Partly because of the accomodation squeeze, and partly because it's the only way companies can attract workers to come up here - FIFO's are more like temporary workers - even though some may keep up the routine for years.

FIFO's work something like a 4-and-1 swing. That means they work for a month solid, then get a week off to fly home.

Normally their flights, food and accomodation are all paid for, on top of the big money they earn.

I spoke to one plumber who was earning $3500 a week - gross.

It sounds like a sweet wicket, but a month is a long time to be working in the heat and dust everyday, then going home to a cramped donga to fall asleep in front of the TV before doing it all again.

And FIFO's do cause some tension from locals who think they're eroding the community in Karratha - the argument is that FIFO's take their money elsewhere; they don't usually play in sporting teams or volunteer for the over-stretched services like fire and ambulance brigades; and they don't treat the place like their home.

Comments

jen

i agree the fifo emplyees never spend any money in the town their families are not here,the kids and extended families are not here and they spend all their money when they go home for the weekand how does that help karratha?it doesnt it strecthes all the resources available for the locals that live here and we suffer!i have lived in karratha for 30 years and it has certainly changed it used to be family orientated and everyone knew everyone now it is get in quick make lots of money and get out.i own my own buisness and the rents and trying to keep staff is a joke how can you compete with the big companies?you cant but dont forget if the small buisnesses go under due to staff unavailabilty everthing else in the town wont get any service either so support the small buisness people in the town not all of us has big accounts with the mining copanies!aparts from that karratha is great and i wouldnt want to live anywere else.have a great time at the awol concert.

Karratha Local

If you dont like it leave, these are the people us locals hate, the pub rats who are a waste of space in karratha

BAZZA

gday

how much are you blokes getting per hour
a lot of companys up there do not pay the right rates and do not pay redancy more people up there should join the union they fight so you get payed right

Jimmeth

So much talk from the corners of a very big picture... some fifos are great people I'm glad I got to meet (which I never would've if they didn't come here), some local are F#*kwits...
However, almost all locals are genuine, friendly people, as long as you can smile your welcome in our town.

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