One of the more commonly heard phrases when I'm conversing with the Bundaberg locals is "My fiancé/cousin/husband/brother/significant-male-other would love to get a job in the mines !". For those labouring away on the coast in a not particularly well-paid job, 'getting a job in the mines' is revered as some sort of instant path to wealth and happiness. Yes, the money is invariably quite good and you're reasonably well looked after in most instances. Bedding and meals are supplied and travel to and from a major urban centre is usually part of the deal.
On the downside though, you're invariably stuck in the middle of nowhere, without a car and dependent on the all too infrequent bus and air schedules if there's a crisis back home. Assuming you can also put up with the separation from your loved ones for a fortnight at a time (longer at some operations, shorter at others) how good a deal is it?
The working day is usually twelve hours, that's 168 hours in a typical 14 day roster period. So, in the space of a fortnight you get to work more than 4 traditional 40 hour working weeks. Does that sound like a good deal ? Then you get 7 days off which is nice, admittedly, but it pays to remember that most people get 2 days off for each week they work so you should actually be getting 8, but you only get 7. Another great deal.
Extrapolate that out to a year and you'll work about 242 days (17.3 rosters), that amounts to 2,900 hours, or a bit over 72 normal 40 hour working weeks (a year and four months near enough). That means you're working 38% more than the unfortunates on the coast who only work 40 hour weeks. More bad news - NONE of it counts as overtime. Does this still sound like a good deal ?
Most workplaces will give you four weeks leave a year - 20 days (like nearly everybody else) but because of the roster arrangement that equates to a bit less than three weeks off (because weekends have to be included in your leave allowance). So your four week's leave is actually only three weeks duration (a bit less actually).
So you still want a job in the mines ? You're welcome to it.
(The negative sentiments expressed above are chiefly a function of having spent the last 13 days in the middle of nowhere, working 12 hours a day with an inadequate supply of chocolate over the Easter period. After a couple of days back in civilization my mood will hopefully have mellowed somewhat.)