Pilbara cries out for workers12 December 2012
The bid by shire councils in the Pilbara to import workers for retail, hospitality and other sectors demonstrates that it is not just big resources companies that are desperate for skilled and willing staff. As the mining industry has expanded, so has demand for support services in local communities. But the high cost of living in the region, as well as the isolation, has deterred many people from taking up the job opportunities.
The Pilbara Regional Council wants to apply for a Regional Migration Agreement similar to that which the Government granted Hancock Prospecting for its Roy Hill iron ore project. Clearly, such a move would be harder than employing local workers, given the level of compliance involved, and there is no certainty the bid would succeed. But if local businesses have run out of options, they need this sort of Government support.