Miners look to manage FIFO workforce amid travel bans

Big miners are confident their reliance on fly-in fly-out (FIFO) workforces is sustainable amid tougher domestic travel restrictions, as the mayors of mining towns say they would embrace any shift back to residential workforces.

The Australian Financial Review is reporting the FIFO model underpins Australia's iron ore, copper, gold and oil and gas industries, but has been challenged by new 14-day quarantine periods imposed on any domestic traveller arriving in Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

BHP is understood to have relocated some pilots from Tasmania to Western Australia because their FIFO rosters would have been unworkable within the Tasmanian quarantine rules.

The WA government has given mine workers an exemption from the quarantine rules, putting them on par with essential services staff like police and healthcare workers.

Iron ore miners BHP, Rio and Fortescue are believed to get about 10 per cent of their FIFO workers from outside WA, and Fortescue said it would start flying workers from the eastern states on charters.

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