Idyllic work conditions turned to dust
“I COULDN’T believe you could enjoy going to work so much; it was great money, a great life.”
Warwick Stead’s initial experience as a fly-in-fly-out worker was as good as it could get.
One week on and one week off, excellent conditions and a great social life made him and his friends happy workers. Mr Stead said they were like family and were there for each other after their 12-hour shifts to have a laugh and a chat.
A year after he started, the shifts changed to two weeks on and two weeks off and the pay went down dramatically, compounded by the fact that workers were no longer being paid for their travel days.
Mr Stead said morale started to drop and then the social life on offer dried up. Last August the taps were turned off and alcohol was banned.
“After 7pm at night you’d be lucky to even see anyone outside of their room,” he said.
Mr Stead applied for about 10 jobs before he found one as a mechanic and vehicle inspector at Myaree business ANG Automotive in May.
Five of his friends from the mine have also left since. Mr Stead said the best thing about being permanently home with his wife is the fact he doesn’t have to miss out on family occasions and time with friends.