Back in February I made a close study of Gina Rinehart’s beloved Australians for Northern Economic Development initiative (ANDEV). You know, her plan to lock up Australia’s mineral riches and import cheap labor?
I recall a few pro-Rinehart supporters touting her ability to create jobs and just how awesome ANDEV was.
It is nothing more than a desire to return to the “robber baron” days of the 19th century, free from the interference of unions, governments and legislation.
In this land of coal and honey, “attractive” employment policies will allow mining companies to substitute an Australian workforce – who expect to be paid reasonable salaries – with foreign workers who can be paid far less;
Consideration of the temporary utilisation of foreign workers for construction phases only; not longer term operations.
Don’t worry; they’ll only build the infrastructure. Of course they won’t stay: unless it makes very good business sense.
Well my prediction has come true:
Union bosses are fuming that the government has approved a scheme to allow mining magnate Gina Rinehart to bring in 1700 overseas guest workers for her Pilbara iron ore project, without making proper attempts to find local workers first.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen told the National Press Club today that the government had approved the first Enterprise Migration Agreement – which allows “mega” resource projects to negotiate temporary migration needs up-front – and that it would be for Mrs Rinehart’s $9.5 billion Roy Hill project in Western Australia.
“The project will create significant benefits to the Australia economy through its capital investments, export earnings and employment and training opportunities for Australians for decades,” Mr Bowen said.
What me surprised?
I love the spin: creating significant benefits for the Australian economy blah, blah, blah… Trickle down benefits to those of us with bank accounts not overflowing with wealth strip mined from our country?
Methinks one Ms Gina Rinehart who earns close to $500 per second – and is now worth $29 billion dollars – will do very nicely. Really, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Rinehart pets like Andrew Bolt, The Australian and the IPA spin this.
Mining billionaire 1
Ordinary Australians 0