FIFO workers will soon be able to live in luxury resort-style accommodation equipped with Olympic-sized swimming pools, restaurant, tavern, cinema and golf simulators.
Mining services company Mineral Resources (MinRes) has ordered the two villages — Ken’s Bore and Onslow Resort — to service workers on the Onslow Iron project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region.
The accommodation boasts 750 rooms with 45m2 of living space in each — triple the size of standard FIFO accommodation.
Each resort-style room is linked with a twin to create living “pods” with “shared gathering spaces, barbecue areas and places for quiet reflection.”
“As the race to attract and retain the best talent intensifies, we know our focus on workplace wellness will help set us apart,” said MinRes Chief People and Shared Services Officer Bronwyn Grieve.
“The accommodation and amenities at Onslow Iron will set a new standard, helping to change the FIFO culture and contribute to the project’s success,” she said.
Construction on the 500-room Ken’s Bore resort starts in the first half of this year, with the 250-room Onslow Resort to begin later in the year.
The Shire of Ashburton originally knocked back MinRes’ application for the project in December 2021, but that decision was overruled by WA’s Joint Development and Assessment Panel.
The Onslow Iron project will ship about 35m tonnes of iron ore per year from mid-2024, “creating an estimated 2100 construction jobs and 6300 indirect jobs during the construction phase,” reads a MinRes statement.
The company is also building 10 four-bedroom homes in the town of Onslow itself, 1386km north of Perth, to attract workers with families to relocate to the region.
FIFO was thrust into the spotlight in 2022 when a WA government parliamentary inquiry report was tabled, highlighting the extent of sexual harassment on mine sites.
The state government responded by creating channels through which sexual harassment could be reported, with under-reporting found to be a major problem.