Recent population projections released by Planning WA indicate that the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) population working in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia will significantly decline by the year 2020.
The reduction in the number of FIFO workers is an expected consequence of emerging state government policy seeking to improve accommodation, social services and recreation activities in the Pilbara region, in order to attract and retain resident populations.
The emphasis on building resident populations in remote regions of the state can be seen, in part, as a response to the emerging body of literature documenting the negative impacts of FIFO lifestyles on employees and their families.
However, the majority of this research neglects to compare the health and well being of FIFO employees with workers who live in, or have relocated to remote resident communities. On this basis, research has failed to demonstrate that relocation is a better alternative to FIFO.
This research seeks to determine the occupational, social, emotional and physical wellbeing of FIFO workers, remote resident workers and non-FIFO workers employed in similar professional capacities (e.g. engineers). Data collection is currently underway.
Edith Cowan University
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