Mining industry demands 40,000 foreign workers


The scab grab is on. After the Morrison Government last week approved the creation of a special Agricultural Visa that will allow farmers easy access to migrant workers, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA (CMEWA) – whose members include Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue Metals Group, Chevron and Woodside Petroleum – have been in Canberra lobbying the Government for a special visa that will allow them to bring tens of thousands of foreign workers into Western Australia:

  • “The resources sector in WA estimates it will need 40,000 new workers by mid-2023”.
  • CMEWA chief executive Paul Everingham “said industry was encouraged by the reception it had received from the Morrison government and WA’s Labor government”.
  • However, the CFMEU has hit back at the plan arguing that it will undercut Australian workers and reduce job opportunities.
    • “The resources sector doesn’t need long-term planning for a visa scheme, it needs long-term planning for skills and training”, CFMEU mining and energy WA secretary Greg Busson said.
    • “It is lazy thinking to simply want to import skilled workers from overseas when we could be offering skills training and career development opportunities for Australians”.
    • “What’s the point of a booming WA mining industry if it doesn’t deliver jobs?”

The full text of this article is available to MacroBusiness subscribers

$1 for your first month, then:
Cancel at any time through our billing provider, Stripe
About the author
Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. He is also a co-founder of MacroBusiness. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.