iNSIDE the Perth airport departures lounge, it’s the second call for the 7am flight into the Pilbara, the beating heart of Australia’s fly-in fly-out mining industry. Today’s destination: the desert town of Newman, 400 kilometres inland, where red dust coats everything.
Not far from the boarding gate, a young couple are saying goodbye. The man is in jeans and a low-slung T-shirt; the woman is dressed in reflective orange work wear. She stands on the tips of her boots for a final embrace. “See you in two weeks,” she tells him, and pulls a backpack over her shoulder. They part ways and the woman disappears, into the long queue of co-workers wearing orange, yellow and navy. MORE