The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) have reaffirmed their commitment to rid the mining industry of sexual harassment and assault, following the 60 Minutes report aired on March 20.
CME chief executive officer Paul Everingham said behaviour reported in the media over the past 18 months and detailed in the ongoing Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the fly-in fly-out (FIFO) mining industry was extremely concerning and totally unacceptable.
“Any one instance of this behaviour is one too many. The health and safety of our workforce must always be the number one priority for WA’s mining and resources sector,” he said.
“I can’t speak to specific allegations and incidents that have emerged but what I can say is the types of behaviour that have been reported have no place in the workplace or, indeed, in society.
“We apologise to anyone who has experienced this type of behaviour. We are grateful for the courage of the people who have come forward to report it, and we reinforce our commitment to creating safe environments in which people can feel comfortable making such reports – particularly given there are clearly people who have not felt this way in the past.
“I can promise that each and every CME member company is absolutely dedicated to eliminating unacceptable behaviour and fostering safe and inclusive environments for all of the WA mining and resources sector’s 150,000-plus employees.”
MCA chief executive officer Tania Constable said the industry is committed to eliminating sexual harassment and is working with mining companies to end this behaviour.
“Every individual regardless of where they work, who they work for, how they are employed, or the tasks they undertake expects the same high standard of workplace safety, health and wellbeing,” she said.
“Everyone in the industry has a personal responsibility for the safety, health and wellbeing of themselves and their workmates, as well as contributing to positive and respectful workplaces.
“This includes speaking up without fear of retribution when unsafe work practices and unacceptable behaviours occur.”
In 2021, the MCA released its Respect@Work industry toolkit which builds on the minerals industry’s commitment to eliminating sexual harassment and the MCA Industry Code on Eliminating Sexual Harassment.