McGowan Government continues to tackle sexual harassment in mining industry

The health, safety and wellbeing of WA workers remains a priority for the McGowan Government.
Date: Friday, 21 April 2023
  • Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program progressing more initiatives
  • Launch of Landmark Study Worker Survey to support better mental health and wellbeing in mining

The McGowan Government’s strategy to stamp out sexual violence and drive cultural change in Western Australia’s mining sector continues to progress with its Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program playing a key role.

Introduced in 2021, the MARS Program has initiated a number of projects including this week’s launch of a Landmark Study Worker Survey by The Centre for Transformative Work Design, as part of the Future of Work Institute at Curtin University.

The Worker Survey seeks to gain a better understanding of worker experiences in WA’s mining industry.

Other MARS Program initiatives that are on track include:

  • A Leadership Summit scheduled for 1 August 2023 at Optus Stadium aiming to educate and empower leaders to take meaningful action on safe and respectful workplaces. The summit will bring together senior executives, mine managers, supervisors, health and safety representatives and safety professionals;
  • The Psychosocial Risk Management Program (PRMP) being delivered by FIFO Focus in partnership with the Australian Institute of Health & Safety (AIHS) has so far seen four cohorts either start or complete the program. The PRMP aims to enhance the mining industry’s ability to identify and assess psychosocial hazards, and develop strategies to eliminate, minimise or reduce their impact;
  • A recently launched Responding to, Managing and Investigating Sexual Harassment course, also delivered by FIFO Focus and their consortium partners, has attracted national attention. The program equips participants to respond to and conduct trauma-informed sexual harassment investigations in the workplace; and
  • A program run by the Mining and Energy Union to develop sexual harassment awareness training for mine workers which has completed three pilot sessions across the State.

A number of other MARS Program initiatives are being rolled out over the coming months in support of the McGowan Government’s response to the 2022 WA Parliamentary Inquiry into sexual harassment against women in the fly-in, fly-out mining industry.

For more information on the MARS Program, please visit: Mental Awareness, Respect and Safety (MARS) Program.

Comments attributed to Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston

“The McGowan Government continues to work with industry and the community to eliminate harassment, discrimination and bullying in the workplace.

“The MARS Program is delivering outstanding results and we will continue to support efforts that push back against inappropriate workplace behaviour.”

Comments attributed to Women’s Interests Minister Sue Ellery

“We need to encourage more women to join the mining industry by treating them with respect, ensuring their safety and providing support.

“These initiatives demonstrate the McGowan Government’s commitment to ensuring the Western Australian resources sector offers a friendly, accommodating and empowering workplace for women.”