SYDNEY: Sexual harassment and assault are commonplace in Australia’s multi-billion-dollar mining sector, a year-long inquiry reported on Thursday, citing harrowing testimony from women workers of stalking, grooming and abuse.

The report documented widespread abuses against fly-in, fly-out staff, whose work requires them to stay for weeks at remote outback mining sites in Western Australia.

One woman told the parliamentary inquiry she was knocked unconscious while returning to her accommodation at a mine site.

“When I awoke my jeans and underpants were around my ankles, I felt sick, ashamed, violated, dirty and very confused,” the worker told the inquiry.

Another told a story of a woman having “a complete mental and physical breakdown” after being stalked by a co-worker.

Women spoke of the exhaustion of dealing with constant harassment while staying at these remote sites — including not being able to launder their underwear because it would be stolen off the washing line.

Some spoke of security guards filming women when they showered, while others were sent “vile texts” by senior staff.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2022

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