By Tyneal Palmer
The downturn in the mineral and resources industry is having a major effect on the income and lifestyles of some families in WA.
After being made redundant within the last six months, Cliff Cook of Casuarina is now investigating the ‘next step’ for himself and his family.
Mr Cook, 57, worked in iron ore mining for 23 years and, when his redundancy came, it was devastating for him and his family of five.
“My initial response was shock and horror,” said Mr Cook.
“I tried to prime the blokes up that if it were to happen to hope for the best, and plan for the worst.
“I certainly didn’t expect it and when it did happen I just had to face it and walk out with my head held high.”
Mr Cook and his wife Leanne now face a change in lifestyle as Leanne has now taken on FIFO contract work, and become the main income winner for their family.
“I think it’s good because she experiences what I had to for a couple of years, and gets to be out of the house so it’s good for her,” said Mr Cook.
And in a similar situation to the Cook family, Michael Skinner, 45 of Ardross, has had to look for new means of income for his family after losing several contracts in the oil and gas industry over the past year.
“For me, because of the oil price, which is very low at the moment, it’s very difficult to get additional work,” said Mr Skinner.
Mr Skinner and his family have had to re-evaluate their choices and adjust their lifestyle to the limited income he is now receiving.
“Realistically I don’t expect my situation to change until next year. So I expect to be working less at least for the next six months,” said Mr Skinner.
Because of this Mr Skinner has had to explore different industries that he would not otherwise consider, leading to a restructure of his work and family life, allowing him to spend more time with his wife and children.
Cliff Cook describes some of the other impacts of redundancy on his family life: