Graham McGarry, of Beacon Minerals, was adamant about the benefits of fly-in, fly-out workers when he spoke before a Federal parliamentary inquiry in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

The House of Representatives inquiry into how the mining sector can support regional businesses, which took place at Rydges Kalgoorlie, heard plenty of evidence about the need to change the tax incentives for mining companies using FIFO workforces.

Mr McGarry, whose company has a FIFO camp at its Jaurdi project 70km north of Coolgardie, said there was one big advantage of having workers right by the mining operation.

“We’ve got them every day of the week,” he said.

He said workers who lived in Coolgardie could not get to work if rain closed the roads to the mine site.

Mr McGarry, who is also a director of Mangelsdorf Engineering, spoke about problems dealing with big companies.

He said the quality assurance rules these companies applied meant specific projects were often beyond the capabilities of small businesses.

Mr McGarry said Mangelsdorf repaired and manufactured pulleys.

He said the rules of the big companies were “beyond the pale” and Mangelsdorf did not tender for jobs with these companies.

He said he believed the rules meant it cost these companies about 15 per cent more for the equipment.

Mr McGarry said part of the reason was big companies relying on the expertise of young graduate engineers “who must be right”.

He said Kalgoorlie-Boulder companies were more “practical and innovative”, as well as price-conscious.

Image: Graham McGarry, Kalgoorlie Miner.