Miners make up less than a fifth of Australia's FIFO and DIDO workforce, with most long distance commuters coming from the health, government, and construction industries, a study has found.
The new report, conducted by KPMG and commissioned by the Minerals Council, claims the mining industry accounts for only a small portion of all fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers.
NSW Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee said the study, which analysed 2011 census data, debunked myths about the mining sector.
He also claimed the study proved the majority of mining employees lived close to the mines where they worked.
“Long distance commuting in our industry is the exception, not the rule,” he said.
“Of the 118,000 residents in the (NSW) Hunter Valley, just 1785 are long distance commuters and around 390 or a minuscule 0.02 per cent of our mining workforce would be classified as FIFO and DIDO workers.”
The report showed employees in the mining sector accounted for 21 per cent of Australia's total long distance workforce.
According to the study 64,056 workers travelled long distances (100km or more) from home to capital cities, including more than 28,000 in construction, around 14,000 public servants, and 13,000 healthcare workers.
While the mining industry has embraced the new findings, some have claimed KPMG's report was based on incorrect assumptions.
The report does not consider the social impacts workers have on communities, and Kalgoorlie Mayor Ron Yuryevich told ABC News the study had missed the point.
“The author has done what the Minerals Council has requested, no doubt, and that is to try and muddy up the waters,” he said.
“The regional areas will suffer and will die if the mining industry and governments don't acknowledge and support those communities when they have mining developments occurring in and around their areas.”