Shire de­fends FIFO de­ci­sion at coun­cil meet­ing

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Peter de Krui­jff

The Shire of Ash­bur­ton has de­fended its use of fly-in, fly­out staff af­ter public ques­tions in a coun­cil meet­ing as to why they were not be­ing sourced solely from a pool of lo­cals.

Twelve out of about 200 staff, who work for the lo­cal gov­ern­ment, are em­ployed on a FIFO or drive-in, drive-out ba­sis in Tom Price and Onslow.

Shire of Ash­bur­ton pres­i­dent Kerry White stressed the num­bers var­ied depend­ing on the Shire’s needs and mar­ket sup­ply, say­ing staff fluc­tu­ated with de­mand cre­ated by projects within the Shire.

“The por­tion of those em­ployed on a FIFO ros­ter is af­fected by skill de­mand and lo­cal avail­abil­ity,” she said. “It is also im­por­tant to note that the FIFO staff em­ployed by the Shire are on very dif­fer­ent ar­range­ments to those in other sec­tors. For ex­am­ple, com­mut­ing travel is in the em­ployee’s own time, most still work online re­motely when in their “off” swing, staff pay for their own food, they have week­ends and week­nights off while on lo­ca­tion, most have lo­cal so­cial cir­cles and are in­volved in the lo­cal com­mu­nity… all con­trib­ute to the lo­cal econ­omy.”

Mrs White said the four staff em­ployed re­motely had all lived in Shire towns and be­came “re­mote” work­ers be­cause the Shire pre­ferred to re­tain their skills and knowl­edge in­stead of go­ing through ex­pen­sive re­cruit­ment pro­cesses to at­tract re­place­ments.

“It is agreed that if ev­ery Shire staff mem­ber could be found lo­cally, this would be ben­e­fi­cial for the com­mu­nity the Shire is rep­re­sent­ing,” she said.

“This or­gan­i­sa­tion needs to pro­vide a range of flex­i­ble em­ploy­ment op­tions to en­sure it min­imises its staff turnover lev­els and main­tains op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency.”

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