Divorce and separation in the Australian mining sector : is it what we expect?
The recent rapid growth in resource intensive regions of Australia has been associated with a flurry of government activity at the local and state level with the intention of responding to the significant challenges that the rapid growth has introduced. The government activity has resulted in a number of positive developments in many cases as a result of community consultation and engagement. A common characterisation at community forums and other public sphere debates about resource developments has been a characterisation of mining workers as a homogenous group of mainly males who are ‘barely civilised’ residing in poorly constructed work camps and creating general community anomie. Miners are subsequently equated with various social ills. This paper questions one of the assumptions expressed within public forums. It takes a closer look at divorce and separation in the mining sector in response to the often heard statement that fly in – fly out block shift arrangements for the employment of mining workers increases divorce and separation rates.