We need to fight FIFO work: Brendon Grylls

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Pilbara MLA and WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls.
Camera IconPilbara MLA and WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr/Pilbara News

The WA Nationals will take aim at two more Pilbara workers camps in a push for more locals to be employed in the town’s major resources projects.

The Nationals have already gone in to battle with Woodside and BHP Billiton over temporary workforce accommodation camps, culminating in the closures of Gap Ridge near Karratha and Kurra Village outside Newman.

Speaking in Onslow last night WA Nationals leader Brendon Grylls took aim at Chevron.

He said there was “no way” Lands Minister Terry Redman would be signing off an extension to the Wheatstone workers camp if he held on to his position after the election.

“For us to grow the business sector, to be able to continue to drive the economy out of the downturn we need to fight fly-in, fly-out work,” he said.

“More residential workers means Onslow will develop things like a soccer competition and then all of a sudden the Grylls boys will be able to come to Onslow and compete in a competition with our southern neighbours.”

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Mr Grylls also backed the Town of Port Hedland in a push to shut down BHP Billiton’s Port Haven village.

North West Central MLA Vince Catania said the Wheatstone camp had been a bone of contention for Onslow after Premier Colin Barnett allowed Chevron to back out of a State Agreement to build a new village in town and instead use its existing camp on site.

In March 2015 after prolonged criticism about the change, Mr Barnett told the town of Onslow to “get over it,” sighting the benefits the project had brought to town.

Port Haven workers camp on the outskirts of Hedland.
Camera IconPort Haven workers camp on the outskirts of Hedland. Credit: Sophia Constantine/North West Telegraph

Chevron has argued housing workers in the camp eliminated road safety concerns and cut the commute time to work.

In 2015 a WA parliamentary committee probe into mental health problems association with the fly-in, fly-out work practice said it was not convinced by the safety argument.

North West Central MLA Vince Catania addresses the crowd in Onslow last night.
Camera IconNorth West Central MLA Vince Catania addresses the crowd in Onslow last night. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr/Pilbara News

The committee said being able to live in town would see a “significant improvement” to the wellbeing of workers.

Mr Grylls is expected to announce a “sticks and carrots” FIFO policy at his own campaign launch event in Karratha at Onyx on Saturday Night.

He told the crowd in Onslow the policy would involve closing camps but rewarding companies which employed a residential workforce and offering incentives to encourage more to do so.

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