Rio Tinto celebrates ten years of FIFO in the South West

23 August 2017

Rio Tinto today celebrated the tenth anniversary of our fly-in fly-out programme from Busselton to our operations in the Pilbara.

Over the past decade Rio Tinto’s South West workforce has grown from 80 in its first year to approximately 700 employees – making it our largest regional FIFO hub in the state.

Speaking at the ten year celebrations, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Chris Salisbury said the programme continues to make a significant socio-economic contribution to the region.

"Our employees living in the South West who travel to our mines in the Pilbara make a valuable contribution to the region. They have set down roots, their children attend local schools and they support local businesses by buying local goods and services.

"In 2016 our investment in the South West of $155 million contributed to an economic impact of $78 million, with approximately 500 jobs generated.

"Our regional FIFO programme is another example of our significant contribution to Western Australia."

The long term partnerships Rio Tinto has forged over the past decade with the local community and key stakeholders include the City of Busselton, Busselton Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CinefestOZ Festival and Shire of Manjimup.

City of Busselton mayor Grant Henley said the community has benefited enormously from Rio Tinto’s continuing commitment to the region, contributing to the City’s art, culture, events, youth and family services, as well as Indigenous employment.

"Rio Tinto has taken a grass-roots approach and invested time, resources and energy into our community to the benefit of all."

Rio Tinto pioneered the regional FIFO programme in 2006 to create opportunities for people living in regional WA, enabling them to continue to live in and contribute to their communities.

The programme provides employees with a range of work and lifestyle options, family-friendly rosters and has a positive flow-on effect for communities.

Notes to editors

  • Rio Tinto’s South West based employees travel to Hope Downs 1 & 4, West Angelas, Yandicoogina and Brockman operations
  • The South West is the biggest regional FIFO hub for Rio Tinto, generating a total spend of $154.7 million last year with a flow on economic impact of $78 million
  • Rio Tinto flights from Busselton totalled 526 last year, with 12,182 passenger departures
  • Rio Tinto’s regional WA FIFO workforce totalled 2,041 workers last year, generating total spend of $424.5 million with a flow on economic impact of $184.7 million and more than 1,250 jobs
  • In 2016, approximately 30 per cent of Rio Tinto’s FIFO workforce was based in regional hubs
  • Rio Tinto launched the regional FIFO programme in Geraldton in 2006 expanding to Busselton, Broome, Derby, Carnarvon and Albany, with drive-in drive-out opportunities from Meekatharra.