FIFO worker Deborah Rundle suffered a traumatic attack by a pack of wild dingoes while working at the Telfer Mine site.
On 18 July 2018, Ms Rundle was sitting at a table outside, eating her lunch, when a dingo jumped up and took her phone. Ms Rundle followed the dingo to try to get her phone back, which is when she was attacked.
“I stepped forward to pick up my phone but saw the dingoes looking at me. I started to back away, facing them, when they attacked me. They grabbed at my arms and legs while I screamed for help” said Ms Rundle recounting the horrific incident.
As a result of the dingo attack, Ms Rundle suffered serious and life-threatening injuries.
“The dingoes ate a hole in my right arm just below the elbow and tore at my right leg and my wrist. I also have bite marks on my left arm. I had to have numerous surgeries and skin grafts because of my injuries.”
Ms Rundle has now commenced proceedings in the District Court of Western Australia against Newcrest Mining, the operator of the Telfer Mine site, seeking damages for the injuries she has suffered.
Alex Illich of Eureka Lawyers, acting for Ms Rundle, said “Our client has commenced proceedings against Newcrest, seeking damages for the horrific injuries which she suffered at work. Newcrest, as the operator of the site, owed Ms Rundle a duty of care, which they breached.”
“This tragic incident was foreseeable and everyone understands the dangers of allowing wild dingoes on site. It is inexcusable that Newcrest had a complete disregard for the safety of workers.”
Since suffering the injuries, Ms Rundle was also assisted by the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (WA) (‘CFMEU’), who has long been at the forefront of advocating for the safety of workers.
“It is absolutely disgraceful that mining giants like Newcrest have a complete disregard for the safety of workers. They would much rather expose their workers to violent attacks by wild animals, than put up proper fencing and barriers which would cost them a few dollars” said Mick Buchan, WA Secretary of the CFMEU.
Following the attack, Newcrest provided workers with ‘dingo sticks’ which would presumably be used for self-defence. A notice was posted, which read “Carrying sticks can provide an extra deterrent to Dingo interactions. Please return once you have finished using.”
“The attitudes of mining giants and corporations need to change. The rules need to change. Profits cannot be given priority above the lives and safety of workers. This is not the society we want to live in. This is not the Australia we want.” Mr Buchan said.
It is understood that following the dingo attack, Newcrest Mining has erected some fencing around the site in an attempt to prevent dingoes from entering.
“It is tragic, to say the least, that this incident occurred, and a woman almost lost her life, because Newcrest wanted to save a few dollars.” Mr Buchan said.