Op­por­tu­nity for Wood­side to high­light ‘so­cial li­cence’

Pilbara News - - Opinion -

Wood­side has a great op­por­tu­nity to pos­i­tively con­trib­ute to the fu­ture of Kar­ratha through its pro­posed 700-bed fa­cil­ity for its op­er­a­tional and main­te­nance FIFO work­force.

Ap­par­ently, the cap­i­tal and op­er­a­tional bud­get for the fa­cil­ity is $300 mil­lion over 15 years with an op­tion for an­other 15 years.

This is a sig­nif­i­cant long-term in­vest­ment. There is also an ad­di­tional 300-bed com­po­nent, tak­ing the Wood­side ac­com­mo­da­tion re­quire­ment to 1000 beds; roughly 400 for op­er­a­tional work­ers and the bal­ance for main­te­nance work­ers.

We are com­ing off a ma­jor con­struc­tion boom dur­ing which short-term so­lu­tions, put in place to meet mas­sive ac­com­mo­da­tion and labour de­mands, are no longer con­ducive to the long term vi­a­bil­ity and so­cia­bil­ity of the Kar­ratha com­mu­nity.

FIFO work­ers camps were in ef­fect min­i­mum-se­cu­rity fa­cil­i­ties where work­ers were con­trolled and had lit­tle in­te­gra­tion with the Kar­ratha com­mu­nity.

The neg­a­tive so­cial, psy­cho­log­i­cal and pro­duc­tiv­ity im­pacts on the FIFO work­force are well doc­u­mented.

A quickly emerg­ing global dy­namic is the “so­cial li­cence to op­er­ate”.

Busi­ness and gov­ern­ments need to un­der­stand the im­por­tance of be­ing a good neigh­bour, and to fa­cil­i­tate the de­vel­op­ment of strong and sus­tain­able com­mu­ni­ties.

The Kar­ratha com­mu­nity and the City coun­cil do not want an­other FIFO work­ers camp.

Ideally, the work­force should live per­ma­nently in Kar­ratha.

How­ever this is not al­ways fea­si­ble, par­tic­u­larly for shut­down main­te­nance.

The FIFO work­force needs deep in­te­gra­tion into the com­mu­nity and the closer to the cen­tral busi­ness area the bet­ter.

Un­for­tu­nately, the $300 mil­lion bud­get ap­pears skewed in its cost­ings to­wards the old FIFO work­ers camp model

A new FIFO work­force ac­com­mo­da­tion model, based on the prin­ci­ple of deep in­te­gra­tion, would in­crease us­age of lo­cal com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties and have a mul­ti­plier ef­fect on small busi­ness and em­ploy­ment.

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