Rio Tinto’s FIFO programme delivers major economic boost to regional WA

08 July 2019

Rio Tinto’s fly-in fly-out (FIFO) programme continues to deliver significant economic benefits for regional towns in Western Australia through stable employment and higher spending on goods and services with local businesses.

According to a report by ACIL Allen Consulting, Rio Tinto’s regional FIFO programme delivered an estimated economic contribution of $199.4 million to regional towns outside of the Pilbara and Perth last year, an increase of $14.7 million since the previous report  in 2016.

A growing regional workforce of more than 2,230 delivered an increase in spending in regional WA to $547.9 million in 2018, which is made up of purchases from vendors, credit card payments, airport charges, community investments and wages.

The economic contribution of the company’s regional FIFO programme and regional spending by Rio Tinto (excluding the Pilbara and Perth region) also supported an additional 1,269 local jobs in regional WA. The report estimates that for every three regional FIFO workers, one additional job in the regional economy is supported.

Rio Tinto’s regional FIFO programme provides direct charters from seven regional towns - Broome, Busselton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Derby, Geraldton and Albany - to eight of the company’s mining operations in the Pilbara.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said "Our FIFO programme continues to deliver for regional economies in Western Australia by providing jobs, supporting businesses through spending on goods and services, and by supporting local community groups.

"We are proud to be contributing to these increasingly vibrant regional communities by helping to share the employment and economic benefits of Rio Tinto’s world-class iron ore operations in the Pilbara across the State."

Each year Rio Tinto engages with many partners in activities and programmes to deliver real and lasting benefits to communities around Western Australia.

In a report released today, Rio Tinto’s annual review of community investment programmes, Celebrating WA Communities, notes the company’s contribution of $19.7 million to more than 163 community programmes across the State last year, and a further $4.2 million of in-kind support.

Highlights from 2018 included the arrival of the first Pilatus PC-24 Rio Tinto Life Flight Jets – made possible through Rio Tinto’s commitment of $10 million over four years to the Royal Flying Doctor Service. More recently, the company’s partnership with the Western Australian Government and South Metropolitan TAFE successfully delivered Australia’s first nationally recognised qualifications in automation.

Note to editors

Rio Tinto pioneered the regional FIFO programme in 2006 to create opportunities for people living in regional areas of Western Australia. Regional FIFO enables employees and their families to continue to live in and contribute to the vitality of their community. It offers lifestyle choices while providing regional economies with expanded and diversified work opportunities and associated economic benefits.