Mining billionaire Chris Ellison lands permit to take chopper to office

Mining billionaire Chris Ellison lands permit to take chopper to office Chris Ellison and his chopper.

From five-star restaurant lunches to exclusive gym access, Mineral Resources boss Chris Ellison has spared no expense enticing staff to the company’s $130 million Osborne Park headquarters.

And it seems the billionaire mining magnate is just as eager to get to the office, even if it means taking the chopper.

Ellison has sought the blessing of the City of Stirling and The Perth Horse & Pony Club to land a helicopter opposite Herdsman Lake, 10 kilometres north of Perth and a few hundred metres from his office.

And it seems he intends to make it a regular occurrence.

WAtoday has obtained flight data indicating the chopper has been travelling to the site from the South West regularly, typically on a Monday morning.

“The City of Stirling and the land user were consulted about the occasional use of the site to land a helicopter,” a MinRes spokesperson told this masthead.

A spokesperson from the City of Stirling confirmed the shire had received an enquiry from Mineral Resources regarding the intermittent landing of helicopters on the northern portion of the reserve on Jon Sanders Drive.

The city redirected Mineral Resources to the aviation regulator, saying that the intermittent use of the reserve was unlikely to require a development approval.

“As the representative landowner of the Perth Horse and Pony Club site, the city advised that it has no objection in principle to a helicopter landing on the site, subject to all necessary approvals and conditions being in place,” the spokesperson told this masthead.

But Mineral Resources’ spokesperson declined to be drawn on why the helicopter was necessary and whether there were any plans to make a helipad a permanent feature at the Osborne Park office.

It is understood the aircraft is Ellison’s own personal helicopter.

The morning commute from Ellison’s sprawling riverfront compound in Mosman Park to the Osborne Park office is less than 20 kilometres — 40 minutes long if you’re taking the scenic route down West Coast Highway.

But it’s several hours from the oceanside Eagle Bay holiday home he spent $3.2 million on in 2021, which appears to feature a large circular grassed area that looks a lot like a helipad.

The flight data indicates that is where the Bell 429 GlobalRanger often departs from.

The news comes months after rumours Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart was mulling the addition of a helipad as part of an eye-catching $19.5 million revamp of Roy Hill’s headquarters, speculation later quashed by the City of Perth.

The battle of the mining giants

Ellison has made no secret of the diversified mining services company’s bid to utilise job perks at his workplaces to draw and retain staff in Western Australia’s constrained labour market.

Last month, Ellison announced plans to offer subsidised childcare onsite as part of an ambitious plan to increase female participation and bolster the workforce by 25 per cent.

The facility would be the latest addition to Mineral Resources’ sprawling 13-storey Perth headquarters, which already boasts a restaurant with subsidised meals, a health centre and an in-house psychologist.

The philosophy also extends to Mineral Resources’ mine sites and “resort style” accommodation, where the size of individual rooms has quadrupled and amenities have received major upgrades.

The company intends to establish its own airline, too, a move Ellison says will afford employees greater choice in where they spend their downtime.

“We’re creating a lifestyle, and we’re making ourselves the go-to place, and it’s working,” Ellison told the Macquarie Australia Conference in Sydney last month.

“I’m getting benefits that make people want to come to work and be at work and be in that environment and enjoy it more than being at home — that’s really important.”

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