The West

FIFO/DIDO: the good, the bad and the not so pretty
FIFO/DIDO: the good, the bad and the "not so pretty"

Families of fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out workers are invited to attend a public meeting at the Manjimup Community Centre to help shape support services.

Centre coordinator Andre Foulon will also report on the outcomes of a day-long FIFO symposium held at Busselton recently, which had identified “the good, the bad and the not so pretty” aspects of the work model.

“All issues really are related to the extraordinary situation where families undulate between sole parent status and having both partners at home together,” Mr Foulon said.

He said the most common family issues were trust related and about both partners feeling unappreciated in their respective roles.

“Typically, workers believe their partners have the time of their lives at home while they slave through 72-hour weeks,” he said.

“The home-based partner feels their better half is on a camping trip while they have children hanging off them, plus household work, school, taxi duties – you name it.”

He said families felt more isolated by the exhaustion which comes with the lifestyle and at the same time were caught up in it when using the higher income for rewards.

“People get trapped in the ‘golden handcuffs’ syndrome,’ and find they can’t just FIFO for a couple of years to get ahead but need to carry on to pay off the bigger home and fancy cars,” Mr Foulon said.

He said he had workshopped the issues with the centre’s new FIFO Families Group and found there was a need for Occasional Care services, better home-to-workplace communications and social linkage, both for workers on home leave, and families as a whole.

There will be two sessions on November 20 at the Manjimup Community Centre, an afternoon tea with creche for parents with small children at 1.30-3pm and a public meeting at 6.30pm for workers.

Bookings for creche are essential by Friday on 9771 1653.

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