CME statement on Parliamentary Inquiry report

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) and its member companies acknowledge the publication of a report from the Parliamentary Inquiry Into Sexual Harassment Of Women In the FIFO Mining Industry and reiterate their pledge to act upon recommendations within it that are practical and which would achieve positive outcomes.

Acting CME Chief Executive Rob Carruthers thanked members of the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee for the opportunity for the WA mining and resources sector to participate in the Inquiry.

“CME and its member companies have been open in saying that we have work to do to ensure our workplaces are safe and inclusive for all of the sector’s 156,000 employees – and the Inquiry is part of that,” Mr Carruthers.

“Any instances of sexual assault or sexual harassment on site or in work-adjacent settings are completely unacceptable and the health and safety of our workers must always be our sector’s No. 1 priority.

“We acknowledge the courage of the people who have experienced sexual assault and harassment who came forward and either given evidence or provided submissions to the Inquiry. We recognise the pain you have suffered, and also recognise that in coming forward you will help make our sector better.

“We also thank the Committee for their efforts in the course of the Inquiry and welcome the publication of today’s report.

“CME and its member companies will now take some time to digest the report in full, including the wide range of recommendations contained within it.”

Mr Carruthers said any recommendations that could be meaningfully implemented would add to the extensive work the sector was already doing to ensure safe and respectful working environments.

“The Safe and Respectful Behaviours Working Group that CME convened last year has representatives from dozens of our member companies across a variety of commodities and functions, and is very active in this space,” Mr Carruthers said.

“There is a standing agenda item at each of CME’s Advisory Board meetings to review the progress and recommendations of the SARB Working Group, such is its priority.

“We’ve already seen some significant initiatives stemming from the SARB Working Group, including adoption of an implementation framework to operationalise the Industry Code on Eliminating Sexual Harassment developed by the Minerals Council of Australia at a national level and the establishment of an Industry Alcohol Guideline for company-owned and operated accommodation facilities.

“The SARB Working Group’s industry-level work continues and will now turn its focus to better understanding the full details of the recommendations of this report.

“As we’ve said from the outset of the Inquiry, any recommendation that is practical and which would achieve positive outcomes is one that we would act upon.

“I note that some of the recommendations in this report align with areas where CME and its member companies are already working towards improvement – including limits on alcohol consumption, more stringent recruiting processes, reconfiguration and upgrades of camps and accommodation facilities, increasing gender diversity in the sector, education of the workforce and ensuring the best possible support for any people impacted by sexual harassment or assault.”

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