Not so long ago there were articles about how horrid life was for ladies on mining operations fly in/fly out.
There’s an enormous number of strands here, not limited to ladies being the ‘koalas’ of minesites.
Long swings away from family, a 90+% male workforce and increasing levels of surveillance and control over the workers lives is just shit.
The fairly obvious effects on family life and
The strand Im going to pick on is the one not mentioned once in any of the inquiry or commentary from the wise mongs in the media or government. Yet it’s the single most relevant factor of all.
In the 1st of July 1986 the “problem” was created.
The FBT was introduced on minesites providing “towns” for employees to live in rather than a donga/mess/pub/gym model it has deteriorated to.
I have lived in each variety, minesite provided dongas, 3rd party dongers, drive in/drive out, fly in/fly out, ex-company towns and lastly residential minesite towns.
To its credit the tax has done exactly what it was supposed to, channeled money away from local areas/ councils and towards cities and the federal governments coffers. Instead of a local area getting services and the ancillary support businesses with doctors, schools, supermarkets, roads and a community you have a wealth extraction “pod” of people dumped who are tolerated only so long as they work.
Its allowed a 9-5 home every night operation to instead move to 12 hour days, 24 hr operations, the companies love it as its cheaper and they deal with employee ‘widgets’ not people, and every sign of pathology in the people they are responsible for is an excuse for more control over them. Making people powerless, isolating them from family and subjecting them to levels of coercion and control not normally found outside police/ armed forces.
It has led to a new cohort of fatherless kids (at least for 2 out of 3 weeks) and has had a ruinous effect on apprenticeships within mining.
Its not as though both ‘mobs” in parliament don’t know what they have done, they just don’t give a shit at every level bar the local.
A prime example of this occurs in the mining industry. Given the location of most mining sites, the companies often provide free housing and other so-called benefits to their employees. These are regarded as necessary for a number of reasons. Life in many mining communities, particularly in remote Australia, is not particularly easy. The remoteness of many of these mining locations makes living out in these areas not as comfortable as living in our capital cities.
These so-called benefits that the mining companies extend to their employees are really only measures to lift the standard of living of employees to something approaching that which people in urban areas take for granted. These benefits were also considered necessary to attract employees to these regions. Yet they are now subject to the fringe benefits tax. This is having a profound effect on the nature of work in these areas as well as on the nature of the traditional mining town.
In this nation today we have some very traditional mining towns—Mount Isa, Kalgoorlie and Broken Hill—in remote parts of Australia. Those towns grew around the mining operations in those areas. One effect of this fringe benefits tax has been that mining companies now resort to what is known as fly in, fly out. Instead of providing the accommodation and the associated benefits which are subject to the tax, the companies fly the workers in at the beginning of the working period and fly them out when it ends. This transportation of the workers in and out of these mining communities is not subject to a tax. As a result, companies often reject the idea of setting up permanent town sites in preference to the fly in, fly out arrangements.
Mining employees have always been central to the existence of these communities, but their loss means that these settlements face the very real prospect of decline. In addition, a vibrant, well serviced community is needed to attract not only skilled workers, but other essential people such as doctors and teachers.
The reality of this situation is that fringe benefits attract these people to remote areas. But a fringe benefits tax attracts no-one anywhere. As a result, once thriving communities face decline.
State government gets all the money spent ‘central” in metro areas. Federal sees inflated wages and tax take.
Companies see lower costs and easier replaceable “widgets”.
So the bullshit inquiry just held heard from companies and agencies in general who would support the status quo, indeed some have used it as an excuse for further surveillance and control..
After defining sexual assault and harassment as a safety risk in 2018, BHP last year committed to $300 million in security upgrades across its sites, including guards, CCTV and lighting.
In short government and companies have maximized their returns while causing community wide pathologies, relationship breakups, dadless kids, mental health issues, surveillance culture and never ending ratcheting ‘compliance”.
The government wants to save a few million on their next ‘inquiry” on the same shit in 10 years time and wants to know whos responsible.
Look in a mirror you first order thinking loons, this is a direct result of changes you made 40 years ago.
First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.
Get past the ads and this is as close as you will find to the big sites now.