Not everyone sees them, but opportunities are everywhere in my mining town

Posted: 20th Nov

Want to be a FIFO worker in a mining town?  Make sure you don't miss the best bit...

Heywire winner Peter Garrett, Biloela, QLD gives an insight into living and contributing to the community when FIFO'ing to and a form a regional mining town.

"I know a lot of people are anti-mining.

But without the local mines and the power station, Biloela would be just a town that slows you down on the highway. And eventually, it would probably die off.

I'm grateful for the industry keeping the town thriving, because I love this place.

It's not the shops or the local skate park that make my town special, it's the community spirit and the relaxed family atmosphere around town.

And also the fact that there is so much industry within a hundred kilometres.

If you want it, there is always a job on offer.

Not only in the mines but the prime farming country and all the jobs that support the mines.

If you think about it, you can't have a mine that employs thousands of people without a local bakery or supermarket for them to buy food.

You can't have a supermarket without people to work there and that continual growth is what is making Biloela better and better.

A lot of the young people in my town don't realise that there is so much opportunity here.

They think that if they leave they will get a better life and more opportunities but they don't realise that there are actually more opportunities in and around Biloela.

I've just started an apprenticeship with one of the mining companies.

I'm fortunate because I have a pathway to a great job and get to stay in my town, close to my family.

One problem that I do see with all the work opportunities is that a lot of people from out of town come here to work then leave on weekends.

This doesn't contribute to our community.

And I think these workers are missing out on the best part.

Living in a small rural town, everyone is prepared to lend a hand.

For example, during a large storm recently, our home was getting close to being inundated.

A neighbour called up a famer who lived down the road and within 10 minutes his tractor was digging a drain in the rain to stop the water coming into our house.

It's this community spirit that makes Biloela a great place to live.

And that in itself is worth missing out on cinemas and theme parks of the cities."