Unions call for action after seven FIFO suicides on NT project

In Health & Safety, Latest News

Seven fly-in fly-out workers from the Inpex Ichthys gas project in Darwin have taken their own life in the past three years, leading to Northern Territory trade unions calling for a FIFO code of practice.

There have been several parliamentary inquiries looking at mental health in the FIFO industry across Australia, but Unions NT secretary Brian Wilkins said the Northern Territory had largely avoided scrutiny, according to an ABC report.

“We know for a fact, so far on the Inpex project, seven workers have taken their own lives,” Mr Wilkins said.

“All we can do when we talk to those people is refer them off to help, but that’s doing something after the problem has occurred.

“There’s only been one in the camp, but we know that seven of the workers from that site have taken their lives.

“This shouldn’t be happening, it can be stopped.”

About 8000 people are employed on the Inpex project, with FIFO workers staying at a 3500 bed camp in Darwin.

A recent parliamentary inquiry in Western Australia recommended a Code of Practice to address issues surrounding mental health and FIFO work arrangements.

The inquiry, which involved 10 months of investigation, was launched after nine FIFO workers took their lives in a 12-month period in WA. It found that 30 per cent of FIFO workers had mental health problems.

Unions NT said it had more than 600 signatures on a petition calling for a similar code of practice in the Northern Territory.

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2 commentsOn Unions call for action after seven FIFO suicides on NT project

  • Maybe it’s a state territory thing. Northern Territory topped suicide rates per state and Territory at 17.6 per 100,000 between 2009-13. I think it’s a fad to be blaming FIFO workers alone. This issue needs to look into all issues involving mental health not just FIFO.

  • I agree Greg,
    The Darwin inpex project should not ever be classed as FIFO it is in a town a quick 20 min taxi drive to a major airport and be out of there, no walking up to a boss an having to spill everything to get out just a quick phone call to a taxi company an book your flights, No way an isolated environment, if they can’t handle this project there is no hell in hope they would have survived any other real FIFO work… Sorry but keep it real try being in WA NT or any where else that has no mobile phone reception, no working land phone’s to use or very limited as well as little to no internet connection that is Isolation… That’s where it gets tough an no escaping without having to tell ya boss everything to get a seat out….

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