The second largest mining company in Australia has just announced 300 new jobs with substantial relocation packages for employees moving to Western Australia from interstate.
In 2021, Rio Tinto is planning on investing $60 million in development and training of apprentices and trainees and will be prioritising WA candidates.
The announcement comes after WA Premier Mark McGowan made calls for the mining industry to permanently relocate their 6000 FIFO (fly-in-fly-out) workers from Australia’s east coast.
The largest mining company in Australia, BHP, has already announced that it will preference WA workers when advertising new roles with job conditions outlining that potential candidates must either live in Western Australia or be willing to permanently relocate.
This recent move from both mining giants comes from difficulties associated with Western Australia’s hard border restrictions.
Premier McGowan stated that BHP has ‘set the benchmark’ and that fellow mining companies should follow suit.
‘What it means is more people with big incomes coming to live in Western Australia – build houses here, raise their families here and spend their money here,’ he said.
‘It means the incomes from the mining sector will stay in Western Australia, and that’s a great thing.’
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised issues with importing workers from interstate and overseas.
In 2020 alone more than 1500 people have been hired in the iron ore division in Perth, the Pilbara region, Busselton, Albany and Broome.
Nationally, iron ore exports are worth more than $100 billion a year, with Western Australia being the biggest producer of the material and being home to at least 98 per cent of Australia’s iron ore reserves.
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