The series, produced by Screentime, seeks to put a ‘human face’ to those commuting long distance in Australia’s mining industry for high salaries, and the challenges involved.
Commuting by plane, to work in one of Australia’s remote mines, can be a double-edged sword…the money is good, but the costs are great. Isolation, loneliness, and heartache – these are the realities of working out in the wilderness, thousands of kilometres from home. But over 100,000 people choose to work this way. They’re called FIFOs: Fly In Fly Out miners and they hold a unique place in Australia’s mining industry.
Making money – and lots of it, can make ordinary people do extraordinary things. If the price is right, it can turn teachers into truck drivers, accountants into labourers and high school dropouts into highly skilled drillers. We meet FIFOs to understand the business from their perspective, why they do what they do and how they see their future unfolding. Shana used to be a mode – she now drives a dump truck in the Pilbara, while Michael used to be a power line worker in New South Wales. He now travels across the country to Port Hedland, to maintain rail ore cars.
Earning lots of money can also become a hard habit to break. Flying Miners explores the indulgences and dangers of FIFOs with too much cash. Copper miner Nick Dametto has tried to work outside the mining industry but the money keeps luring him back.
But it’s a fickle business and Australia has been riding the wave of the mining boom for years now, with the bust potentially always just around the corner. With input from leading industry experts and with unprecedented access to mines all over the country, this series lifts the lid on the world of those Flying Miners.
8:30pm Tuesday ABC.