WA-first for mining jobs a welcome step

Editorial content by WAN Editor-in-Chief Anthony De Ceglie courtesy of the West Australian

West Australians have long known that this State punches above its weight.

In particular, it is now well established that WA’s mining sector is the engine room of Australia’s economy.

Just last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave a public nod to this State when he noted that WA would be going its own way on borders as we tackle the spread of COVID-19.

“Western Australia has a very different border and a very different economy than
most of the other States and Territories where these decisions have been made,” Mr Morrison said.

This newspaper was happy to offer him a pat on the back, saying that to his credit, Mr Morrison “became the first prime minister in living memory to actively say
our State IS different. He also deserves credit for acknowledging our mega-economy can’t be compared to other States.”

The mining sector also deserves acknowledgement for the way it has carefully managed to continue operations even as the pandemic raged.

Part of the response involved complex management of staff to comply with the State’s health protocols.

And yesterday The West Australian revealed that BHP will move to preference West Australians for new jobs at its WA mines and require interstate candidates to
permanently relocate west while working for the iron ore giant.

The Big Australian decided it made sense to preference West Australian candidates for new operations roles within its vast iron ore, nickel and petroleum operations.

West Australians will be given preference for operational positions, with some exceptions including maintenance and project-based roles.

All job advertisements will stipulate the requirement that candidates must currently reside in, or be willing to relocate to, WA for the duration of their
employment.

Relocation packages are also being offered to existing interstate-based employees.

And yesterday Rio Tinto revealed it is giving preference to West Australians for jobs on its WA mines. Rio Tinto said any new recruits from interstate were also required
to move to WA permanently, with generous relocation packages offered.

A company spokesman said it adopted the policy in mid-May , about six weeks after the State Government imposed the hard border closure.

The moves are good news for WA job seekers and the
economy , which will benefit as more money generated from mining stays in the State.

The two companies have adopted welcome policies we hope others will emulate. 

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