Woodside in shift to more local workers

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Woodside's chief opertions officer, Meg O'Neill.
Camera IconWoodside's chief opertions officer, Meg O'Neill. Credit: Supplied by subject

Energy giant Woodside has made a commitment to transition most of its fly-in, fly-out staff servicing onshore gas facilities in the Pilbara to residential positions in the next five to 10 years.

Although the change is in the early stages, Woodside expects the number of additional local roles in Karratha by the mid to late 2020s to be in the low hundreds.

Woodside chief operations officer Meg O’Neill said the company was making changes to its way of working that would support its commitment to the Pilbara for decades to come.

“We have advised employees that Pluto and Karratha Gas Plant will move towards a predominantly residential workforce, enabling our people to live where they work and building a strong team and community connection,” she said.

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Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kylah Morrison said the transition would have multiple benefits and lead to a more committed local community.

“There is a definite mental health benefit for those workers, we’ve got such fantastic infrastructure, services and schools in the Pilbara and it makes such a difference to be able to go home to your family every night,” she said.

The move is set to be a long-term change, with the new offshore Scarborough and Browse facilities still providing FIFO opportunities and a small number of specialist roles at Karratha Gas Plant and Pluto LNG remaining FIFO.

“We are focused on ensuring the transition is as smooth as possible for all of our people and their families,” Ms O’Neill said.

Ms Morrison said it would result in a big lifestyle change for many of its employees.

“I think it’s a pragmatic approach that they’re taking,” she said.

“It’s a great result for the community, so five to 10 years is not a long time in the grand scheme of things.”

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