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Miners welcome WA border relaxation

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The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) welcomes announcement by the Western Australian Government of quarantine-free travel into the State from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT from November 14.

CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the move would help alleviate mental health and wellbeing issues for interstate FIFO workers, who have spent months away from their homes and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said it would also allow mining and resources sector operators improved opportunities to address current and future workforce needs.

Modelling in August predicted the sector in WA would need an additional 8000 skilled workers over the following 12-18 months to meet peak demand for the current $129 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, with some of those roles being specialist positions that could not be sourced from within the State.

“CME and its members are very welcoming of this announcement today by the WA Government,” Mr Everingham said.

“We have worked closely with the WA Government throughout the pandemic on quarantine, screening protocols and FIFO DETECT. This collaboration has allowed the mining and resources sector to continue operating safely during a very difficult period, powering the local, State and Federal economies.

“With no community transmission of COVID-19 in Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT, we support the Premier’s decision to open WA’s borders to those states and territories.

“I’d like to thank our interstate FIFO workers, who have done it tough over the past seven-to-eight months. We have been working with both levels of government to explore ways these workers can safely return home and then come back to WA to resume their work. We’re delighted this will be possible in time for Christmas and the holiday break.

“Today’s announcement will also be music to the ears for workers looking relocate to WA permanently as it will enable them to return home to get affairs in order and it will reduce complexity and cost of relocating families. A large number of employees relocated to WA for work throughout the crisis and many others are considering making this change.

“For our members, this is a boost to the mental health and wellbeing of their workers and also allows them to plan with certainty for the workforce they will need for the years ahead.

“We look forward to continuing to work in collaboration with our members and the WA Government for a future relaxation of travel to and from New South Wales and Victoria when it is deemed safe to do so.”

CME estimates 60 per cent of the sector’s current interstate FIFO workforce comes from Queensland. Much of the remainder hail from New South Wales and Victoria.

This month’s State Budget revealed the mining and resources sector contributed $9.29 billion in onshore royalties and offshore North West Shelf Grants in 2019-20, accounting for 28 per cent of all WA Government revenue.

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Image by ABC News

3 Comments

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  • Yes good news for all INTERSTATE FIFO workers.
    The failure of Mining companies to train skilled people for the last few decades is the reason they are always chasing workers from the Eastern States or pressuring Governments into allowing 457 Visa scams that allowed thousands of unskilled people into Australia mostly with fake or sub standard papers.
    Before you jump up and down and call me racist, I have to work with grossly incompetent and dangerous workers because the Mines refuse to train enough people.
    JOBS FOR AUSTRALIANS – especially West Australians.
    The Mines may own our politicians but most people see them as modern day carpet baggers – rape and pillage and put as little as possible back into the community.
    Blow up sacred sites for profit, over ride traditional owners rights, manipulate the goverment bodies and safety boards so they are totally unaccountable.
    Greedy foreign multi nationals not accountable to anyone.
    Wayne Swan called BHP the biggest tax avoiders in history – more like tax cheats who then get special treatment from the Corrupt Tax Office.
    People die and are crippled for these companies to make their billions and no one holds them to account.
    In WA we have the DMIRS – all office jockeys who have probably never worked on a mine site and their inspections usually are no more than talking to a few managers and ignoring serious safety issues.

    PUT SOMETHING BACK INTO THE COMMUNITY – don’t just buy politicians

  • Yep of course they welcome open borders – they do not have to pay REAL wages to West Australians.
    Foreign Nationals and Chinese Companies have just gotten special treatment from the WA Government.
    Look at what Gina and sell out Forrest have made this year – no worries 20 billion each.
    We have sold out to foreign powers and Gina and Forrest are a disgrace to Australia – people have died making their billions and they are protected by sell out politicians.
    WA just a hole in the ground – sold out to foreign interest year ago.
    They are all liars and the corruption runs deep through the regulators – DMIRS – they are a corrupt joke.
    Bill Jonhston – never worked on a mine in his life – just another sell out commie dog who has never held a real job in his life.

  • So the borders are open – great.
    Lets bring in a few thousand foreign workers on minimum pay just so Gina and Forrest can make a few billion more.
    Your site is not about safety – repeating incidents that kill people is not safety – you are just like the regulators – report on an issue after it happens.
    Maybe you should actually go and talk to some of the people doing high risk jobs and try to stop the hazards BEFORE someone is killed or crippled.
    JUST LIKE THE REGULATORS – all talk just to make money.
    DMIRS in WA is corrupt – they NEVER do anything until someone is crippled or killed.
    Protecting CCP interests at all costs.
    Ask Gine why someone died on her site and EVERYONE knows what happened but the DMIRS will not go to court for at least 5 years just to protect Gina. Gutless Public Servants who are happy for people to die as long as they do not have to leave their offices and do a real job. CORRUPT just like in Queensland.

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