Police target FMG workers in drug search

FMG’s Christmas Creek mine site has been the target of a police drug operation, with workers searched as they disembarked planes on their way to work.

West Australian police with sniffer dogs were invited by FMG to conduct searches at the airport.

Speaking to the ABC, FMG chief executive Nev Power said Christmas Creek would not be the only operation targeted.

"We have worked with WA Police to have police with sniffer dogs meet our planes at Christmas Creek and will continue that process through the rest of our mine sites," Power said.

"WA Police will do the same at other sites in the Pilbara.”

Power said drug use was a “growing and significant” issue in society that could affect safety on mine sites.

"We are working with WA Police to prevent access so we have a significant deterrance for people want to bring drugs on site.

"It is a growing issue and we are getting intelligence about attempts to infiltrate drugs into our mine sites.”

Power said the mining industry had a history of turning a blind eye on drug issues.

"It's time we as an industry and society stood up against drugs," he said.

"There is no room for it on our sites."

Power said he was not aware of any arrests.

The police raid comes just days after FMG’s Port and Rail human resources manager Richard Kinnane told Port Hedland business leaders that drugs seemed to be a problem in the FMG workforce.

“As you are probably aware, (in) Port Hedland at the moment, there appears to be a bit of a drug problem . . . well, the drug problem, that seems to be at our sites,” Kinnane said.

“I'm assuming it is the same in the community.”

Last month a large scale police search operation taking in FIFO operations found methamphetamine, scales and $25,000 in cash in a 31 year-old man’s room at the FMG-run Hamilton worker’s camp.

Power urged anyone with information about illegal drugs anywhere in the community to call Crimestoppers.

 “As part of Fortescue’s zero tolerance policy on the use and possession of illegal drugs, our company is leading an industry-wide anti-drug operation in conjunction with the West Australian police,” Power said.

 “Fortescue is taking the lead in the fight against drugs because we care about the safety of our people and because drugs are hurting the communities in which we all live.”

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