Claims on Overseas Workers Unfounded

CME has today refuted claims that in the medium term the industry will sponsor ‘pit-stop maintenance crews’ to be brought in from overseas

Western Australia’s peak resources representative body has today refuted claims that in the medium term the resource industry will sponsor ‘pit-stop maintenance crews’ to be brought in from overseas for WA projects.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of WA (CME) Director Nicole Roocke said the comments made in The West Australian newspaper today should not be considered representative of the industry’s view.

“Industry’s priority has always been to train and employ local people first, coupled with increasing the diversity of the resource sector workforce and some targeted skilled migration may ensure these projects get built, become operational and deliver both economic and social benefits to the country,” Ms Roocke said.

“Training and employing Australians to work on these resource projects is the first priority, with appropriately skilled foreign workers to be used as a ‘top up’ where required.

Ms Roocke said the cost of recruiting skilled workers from overseas is high. It is not the cheap option and is only used when an appropriately skilled candidate cannot be located.

“Maintaining the integrity of the skilled migration system is important to enable the community to have confidence in it. The system requires overseas workers to be paid the same rate as Australian employees and operate under the same conditions and this is a view supported by the CME” she said.