Atlas Iron boss David Flanagan says Australia should stop demonising fly-in fly-out workers and instead thank them for helping build and run our mining projects.
Flanagan told Perth's Sunday Times FIFO workers were normal people spending money on Australian businesses and trying to put dinner on the table.
"I reckon we should start celebrating these people because if there weren't people who were prepared to go and do FIFO, we wouldn't have these mines that had started and these petroleum projects that are built," he said.
Flanagan said much of the media painted a bad image of FIFO workers when they were making big sacrifices to help mining projects stay online.
"That is just so un-Australian — they should be getting gold medals, they're the ones building Australia," he said.
Last week Flanagan said the Government needed to ask whether it was fair for FIFO workers "doing the hard yards" to subsidise unemployed people unwilling to take mining jobs.
The Federal Government's FIFO inquiry has previously heard from many disgruntled businesses and locals about the rise of FIFO in the mining industry.
When the hearing visited the Pilbara town of Port Hedland, close to Atlas Iron's operations, locals expressed concern about the impact FIFO had on local services, infrastructure, and housing.