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Fly-in, fly-out workers choose Bali over home

27 September, 2012

Are some fly-in-fly-out (FIFO) workers choosing to go to Bali between rosters to escape from reality rather than returning to their hometowns in Australia? This is the focus of a new study by Edith Cowan University (ECU).

A team of researchers from ECU’s newly created Centre for Innovative Practice (CIP) are investigating why this shift has occurred.

CIP Co-leader and project head Professor Ross Dowling OAM says FIFO workers are capitalising on new flight schedules, Bali’s lower living costs and reduced taxes all while taking advantage of the relaxed island lifestyle.

"We want to get a deeper understanding of this new development, to learn why workers are choosing not to return to their families and friends but go off shore instead," Professor Dowling said.

"Are workers choosing the holiday atmosphere over returning to ‘home’ or is there more to it than that?"

The Fly into work; fly out to Bali project is part of a larger research project which addresses wider aspects of the resources industry.

ECU’s Faculty of Business and Law have awarded the CIP $50,000 to carry out the project, entitled The requirements of innovative practices in the WA resources sector.

More than 20 researchers will participate in the project, working within inter-disciplinary teams to address key issues, including: Fly into work; fly out to Bali; sustainability within the resources industry; recruitment and retention of workers on 457 visas within small companies; skills shortages in the WA resources sector; creating a future for indigenous ex-prisoners; job design and employee innovation; improvement in the resources sector productivity; and community planning.
CIP Co-Leader Professor Craig Standing said the Centre’s project comes at a time when the mining sector is having a dramatic impact on the State.

"The CIP will tackle critical problems that are challenging the resources sector and this fits perfectly with our Centre’s vision," Professor Standing said.

Faculty of Business and Law Associate Dean of Research and Higher Degrees Professor Grant Michelson said the grant was an excellent example of how this research centre could make a real impact.

"This is a terrific opportunity to showcase the collective expertise of researchers in the Faculty of Business and Law to provide solutions to industry and communities impacted by the WA resource sector," Professor Michelson said.

"This project will address the requirements of innovation in a sector which has massive state and national economic implications."

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