The Australian government launched a Resources Sector Jobs Board so employers can prove they made the job widely available to citizens before they apply for guest workers.
The job board is free and, according to Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Dave Oliver, ". . . would provide safeguards to ensure that resources companies explored options of employing Australian workers before seeking to use temporary migration."
The job board comes out of a move by Gina Rinehart's company that hired about 1,700 guest workers for the Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara . Unions say Australian workers were not given a fair crack at the jobs.
“We are pleased that the Government has responded to the initial concerns raised by unions about the Roy Hill Enterprise Migration Agreement,” says Oliver.
“At the time of the announcement, there had been no independent evidence to back up claims by mining magnates like Gina Rinehart that there aren’t enough Australian workers to meet the needs of future resources projects.”
The head of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union was more dismissive.
"Those who have bothered to address the issues at all have repeated the inane mantra that the mining boom and guest labour are in "the national interest", and that there are no Australians able to do the work," said Dave Noonan, national secretary of the union.