Fly-in Fly out workers to sites in Western Australia and Queensland are ruining country towns close by their camps and are increasing the crime rate according to reports on WAToday.com.au (here and here.
The study by Queensland University of Technology’s Professor Kerry Carrington was published in the British Journal of Criminology. Here’s the abstract:
Over the last two decades, two new trajectories have taken hold in criminology—the study of masculinity and crime, after a century of neglect, and the geography of crime. This article brings both those fields together to analyse the impact of globalization in the resources sector on frontier cultures of violence.
This paper approaches this issue through a case study of frontier masculinities and violence in communities at the forefront of generating resource extraction for global economies.
This paper argues that the high rates of violence among men living in work camps in these socio-spatial contexts cannot simply be understood as individualized expressions of psycho-pathological deficit or social disorganization. Explanations for these patterns of violence must also consider a number of key subterranean convergences between globalizing processes and the social dynamics of male-on-male violence in such settings.
Only two remote mining towns in western Australia were visited (unsure of how many in Queensland) but the results of the study seem to reflect (actually seem worse than) previous posts I have written on this topic (Remote Mining – check links in article).
If the abstract is a bit dry here are some quotes from Professor Kerry Carrington:
These (communities) are in a David and Goliath struggle, these are little people in a community that have very little voice, that are watching these massive, powerful, big mining companies build these work camps on their door steps
In one Western Australian mining community, which was surrounded by work camps housing about 8000 mostly male workers, the rate of violence was 2.3 times the state average.
The workers then get bussed to these pubs that are surrounded by wire mesh, they drink hard and get plastered, get into fights, sleep it off and go again.
One quote in the articles reflect my own views.
Queensland is regulating these social impacts somewhat by forcing mines to plan for them but WA does not have the same policy
The big problem we had in the WA mining industry was that (mining executives) refused to talk to us and didn’t see it as their problem. That’s because they sub-contract out their workforce.
Until mining companies are forced to improve local communities near their mines and to spend the time to train up and mentor the local population (in many cases poor with significant indigenous residents) to improve the community and reduce the fly in fly out workforce these problems will only get worse.