Unions call for action after seven FIFO suicides on NT project

Seven fly-in fly-out workers from the Inpex Ichthys gas project in Darwin have taken their own life in the past three years, leading to Northern Territory trade unions calling for a FIFO code of practice.

There have been several parliamentary inquiries looking at mental health in the FIFO industry across Australia, but Unions NT secretary Brian Wilkins said the Northern Territory had largely avoided scrutiny, according to an ABC report.

“We know for a fact, so far on the Inpex project, seven workers have taken their own lives,” Mr Wilkins said.

“All we can do when we talk to those people is refer them off to help, but that’s doing something after the problem has occurred.

“There’s only been one in the camp, but we know that seven of the workers from that site have taken their lives.

“This shouldn’t be happening, it can be stopped.”

About 8000 people are employed on the Inpex project, with FIFO workers staying at a 3500 bed camp in Darwin.

A recent parliamentary inquiry in Western Australia recommended a Code of Practice to address issues surrounding mental health and FIFO work arrangements.

The inquiry, which involved 10 months of investigation, was launched after nine FIFO workers took their lives in a 12-month period in WA. It found that 30 per cent of FIFO workers had mental health problems.

Unions NT said it had more than 600 signatures on a petition calling for a similar code of practice in the Northern Territory.

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