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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 322 asked in the Legislative Council on 4 April 2019 by Hon Robin Scott

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 4 April 2019

MENTAL HEALTH — FLY IN, FLY OUT WORKERS

322. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

(1) Is the minister's department presently conducting any study of health issues involving fly in, fly out workers?

(2) Is the minister aware of any recent or current study of suicides and/or suicidal tendencies among FIFO workers, especially studies comparing FIFO workers with other workers including Australian Defence Force personnel; and, if so, will the minister table any relevant report?

Hon ALANNA CLOHESY replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1) The Western Australian Department of Health system manager is not presently conducting any study into the health issues of FIFO workers.

(2) Yes. On 5 December 2018, the Minister for Health; Mental Health announced the release of the research report, ''Impact of FIFO work arrangements on the mental health and wellbeing of FIFO workers''. The report was funded by the Mental Health Commission and conducted in partnership with industry, unions, and more than 3 000 FIFO workers and their families, with researchers from Curtin University's—formerly the University of Western Australia's—Centre for Transformative Work Design. The research found FIFO workers experience higher levels of psychological distress, and higher levels of burnout than non-FIFO workers and are likely to be at greater risk of suicide. The report is publicly available—I will provide the member with a copy—and can also be sourced on the Mental Health Commission website.