First we sold the gas, then we sold the jobs.
Resource companies developing the gas fields of the NW shelf are approximately 90% foreign owned. The majority of the gas is being sold to China. According to the government itself, the gas is being sold at rock bottom prices.
In return, the community was meant to benefit from jobs in the construction industry through a “skills transfer” mechanism, whereby local labour would be trained in new skills as part of the construction effort. Based on events so far, involvement of locals and skills transfer has been minimal. Instead our Skill Migration program has allowed the gas developers to bring in companies and workers from overseas. It now seems that much of the construction work organised by foreign companies, is being done by foreign labour.
For example welders were brought in because no one set up training for Australian welders to get experience in high pressure, underwater welding.
Tomorrow’s protest by the AMWU is part of an Australia wide protest at the failure of these foreign owned projects to generate the skilled jobs that were promised.
Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) supports the AMWU on this issue. The Skills migration program is being widely abused as an excuse for general population growth through the migration program and to entrench corporate power in Australia.
Sustainable Population Australia
Ph: 03 9783 5047