Rio Tinto’s fly-in fly-out (FIFO) program has delivered strong economic benefits for regional towns in Western Australia through employment and high spending.
A report by ACIL Allen Consulting estimated the FIFO program contributed $199.4 million to regional towns outside of the Pilbara and Perth last year, an increase of $14.7 million against the 2016 report.
The growing regional workforce of more than 2230 also increased spending in regional Western Australia to $547.9 million last year, the report found.
This includes purchases from vendors, credit card payments, airport charges, community investments and wages.
The economic contribution of the company’s FIFO program and regional spending by Rio Tinto outside the Pilbara and Perth regions also supported an additional 1269 local jobs in regional WA.
Rio Tinto’s regional FIFO program provides direct charters from seven regional towns – Broome, Busselton, Carnarvon, Exmouth, Derby, Geraldton and Albany – to eight of the company’s mining operations in the Pilbara.
Chris Salisbury, Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive, said the FIFO program continued to deliver for regional economies in Western Australia by providing jobs, supporting businesses through spending on goods and services, and by supporting local community groups.
“We are proud to be contributing to these increasingly vibrant regional communities by helping to share the employment and economic benefits of Rio Tinto’s world-class iron ore operations in the Pilbara across the state,” Salisbury said.
Rio Tinto launched its regional FIFO program in 2006 to create opportunities for people living in regional areas of Western Australia.
It forms part of the company’s community investment programmes, which last year contributed $19.7 million to more than 163 community programs across the state.