The resources sector has been one of the major drivers of Western Australia’s economic resilience throughout COVID-19, and mining giants Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP are putting Western Australians first with changes to their hiring policies.
The changes stipulate that applicants must be residents of WA or willing to permanently relocate.
News of the hiring policies changes follow incentives offered by the State Government and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy in June to entice FIFO workers to relocate to WA permanently.
According to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CMEWA), there are currently around 5,000 – 6,000 FIFO workers who reside in the Eastern States and fly to WA to undertake work on mining and oil and gas sites.
The incentives include access to the State Government’s $20,000 Building Bonus grant.
“Western Australia is a great place to live and has a lot to offer to those who already work here, but currently reside in homes in the Eastern States,” Premier Mark McGowan said.
“We expect by offering the Building Bonus to these workers, it will provide a strong incentive for them to make the move to WA and build a new home.
“By relocating to WA permanently, we can further support WA small businesses and continue to grow our economy as we continue the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Industry has also been working to incentivise workers to relocate to WA permanently.
Chamber of Mineral and Energy CEO Paul Everingham said: “A number of our members are offering attractive incentives to encourage interstate FIFO workers to permanently relocate to WA to complement the Federal and State Government’s home building stimulus packages.
“These incentives offered by companies include relocation financial assistance, mortgage payment support and assistance to travel to their State of origin once or twice a year.
“The WA resources sector kept operating during COVID-19 and now our focus is to support WA’s economic recovery by creating new jobs and investing in the community.”
Mining companies have been relocating interstate FIFO workers since April when border restrictions started to tighten as a result of COVID-19, with interstate workers required to quarantine for 14 days when they enter WA.