Bali lures Australian FIFO workers

Bali is attracting Australian fly-in, fly-out workers from Western Australia's resources industry.


(Transcript from World News Australia Radio)

The Indonesian island of Bali is not just a drawcard for tourists.

It is also attracting Australian fly-in, fly-out workers from Western Australia's resources industry.

They are choosing to live in Bali and commute to Australia.

Karen Middleton reports.

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Jason works four weeks on and four off.

At work, he lives on an oil rig off Western Australia.

When he's off, he lives with his wife and three daughters in Bali.

Concerned about rising crime in their Perth suburb, Jason and wife Michelle -- who prefer us to use their first names -- moved their family almost three years ago.

"In my line of work there are a lot of expats so it was always in my mind that We didn't necessarily have to live in Australia. We had options open to us."

Far from being frightened of terrorism, they feel more secure here.

JASON: "What a massive problem Australia has with drugs." MICHELLE: "Whereas here, we feel very.. l feel very safe."

They also felt the sense of community disappearing, back home.

"Everybody's front doors are shut. There's no kids playing in the street anymore. It's a different world than how l grew up and I wanted my children to have a little bit more freedom."

And there was the money.

"Like, l was supposed to be making a good wage and only having one income should have been doing very well. But we were still struggling."

They weren't sure 14-year-old Ashleigh would leave her friends.

"Its Bali! (Laughter) No, it was a tough decision."

Eventually, she was convinced.

"It's just a chance to live somewhere else and experience a different culture. It opens you up to so many different opportunities you wouldn't actually have had in Perth."

She's now considering studying in Europe.

Five-year-old Angelique is in primary school and baby Charlyze was born in Bali's Royal Hospital three weeks ago.

For other significant health care, they've gone to Singapore.

They live in Bali's Sanur resort area but pay tax in Australia because that's where they earn.

And they're content.

Idam's husband Daniel is a chef also on an oil rig.

They've been here three months, from Sydney.

Idam's from Sumatra and met and married Daniel ten years ago.

A surfer, he suggested they move to Bali.

"I'd say 'no, no, no'. I'm from lndonesia, l want to go to Australia. I want to educate myself."

But once they had two children, a mortgage and rising bills - and she couldn't find casual work matching his on-off schedule - she was persuaded.

Food is cheaper and they rent for $12,000 a year.

"If l'm in lndonesia, l can have a nanny. I can lots of different things. Because l know how life is good here when you have money."

Both mothers volunteer, teaching English and mixing with locals.

"They can see that honestly you're a good person. Thats important to lndonesians. And that you're not there just to take advantage of a cheap lifestyle."

For all the positives in commuting from somewhere like Bali, every lifestyle choice has its down side.

Working in one country while living in another can take its toll, which the natural stresses of a long-distance commute intensify.

IDAM: "We have to be a father and a mother while they're going to work."JASON: "It's not for everyone because some women rely heavily upon their partner, their husband. At work l'm to used being quite independent and decisive. It just comes naturally, just being in charge. And then l come home and l'm not." (Laughter)

They're all unsure how long they'll stay.



Source World News Australia

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