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Backlash hasn't slowed govt's EMA agenda, Bowen says
03/08/2012 - The backlash over a deal to bring foreign workers to Australian mines hasn't slowed the government's resolve to strike similar agreements, the immigration minister says. Miranda Forster
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Chris Bowen has denied the government has slowed down the approval process for enterprise migration agreements (EMAs).
The EMAs allow mining companies to import foreign workers on a temporary basis to help build projects.
The government has given in-principle approval for an EMA at the Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia's Pilbara, but copped a backlash from unions and its own caucus over the deal, which is still being negotiated.
At a mining industry conference on labour, Bowen was asked if there had been a slowdown in the approval process for EMAs and other labour agreements.
"Not at all," Bowen told the conference.
"There's been no slowdown in approval of EMAs because we only have a certain number of applications."
He said the Roy Hill EMA took a long time to get in-principle approval because the government wanted to get it right.
"The ball's often in the court of the proponent as much as the government in ensuring that those negotiations are progressing," he said.
"There's been no slowdown in negotiating times in labour agreements separate to EMAs."
Bowen later refused to tell reporters how many companies had applied for EMAs but said it was "a small number" of projects mostly spread across the boom states of Queensland and Western Australia.
He said between 30 and 50 current and future projects qualify for an EMA, but a much smaller number would be in the pipeline at any particular time.
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Lou Furbadamo | 4/08/2012 10:51 1
What potentially devious ploy to pander mining support, as belated plausible reward to offset pacify latest Resource Taxes? If the matter was being handled transparently as promised! Why refuse proper scrutinising reporters, “how many companies had applied for EMAs”. Frightened details would embarrassingly expose the blatant sham? Often what one doesn’t say reveals more than what you do! So questionable handling only enhances fears this is all inappropriate and generally despised, illegal back door, private de-facto immigration? Which simultaneously denies our unemployed or “untrained” workers the opportunity of decent high paid Aussie jobs? Of course it makes good business sense to employ cheaper & keener over seas workers, cause even at half Aussie labour rates & conditions, it’d be their golden job opportunity. But, at our expense! How can there be multitudes of ready qualified & trained foreigners, when so many prospective Aussies are refused for somehow not being equally so and therefore, not immediately employable, like the cheaper foreign excuses? I’d probably support very limited high tech EMA’s, if even partially convinced that all reasonable options had been taken to properly preference our unemployed first? The massive backlash and extensive irate criticism, obviously indicates most fear, this is far from the case? Yet, our “sincere, Comrades People’s Government” seems typically intent on unpopularly, deviously pressing on regardless, to our detriment? Another reason why it’s own faceless support base is sharpening the knives and turning on their treacherous W*nking Wally Ways? Sadly, thousands of diggers & “military”, unselfishly, courageously died defending this country’s sovereignty! To no avail? Cause recent entrusted opportunistic “irreverents & lesser s*ck hole” types, are seemingly prepared to devalue those patriotic efforts, intent, honour & sacrifice, by watering down border protection and readily allowing their feared “foreign copious hordes” entry! To bastardly, preferentially overrun concocted job selections, in preference to our own legitimacy & merit? All because it makes financial dollar sense for our “Profit Hungry”, who seem intent on intimidating and or encouraging this arguably unprincipled, loose, feeble & disposable government! After such negative public & union outcry! The minister should explain why his undaunted response naively remains "Not at all," when asked “if there had been a slowdown in the approval process for EMAs & other labour agreements”. These highly temporary incumbents, must think that because “they say so”, we’ll all respect them enough to believe & go along with devious, short sighted errant non sense? Well! Respect needs to be earned, not appointed nor commanded! So Why! haven’t they slowed down & had the proper thorough reassessments promised? Or was that just jive talking as a matter of Fob-off fuss? Inspired by meandering, fiery hot “Swannee’s distant Yankee Doodle Springsteen” I’d intellectually, recommend a more genuine sentimental Aussie Bee Gee’s clean ministerial tune like, “Jive Talking”: “Its just your jive talking'. You’re telling me lies, yeah. Jive talkin'. You wear a disguise. Jive talkin'. So misunderstood, yeah! Jive talkin'. You’re EMAs are really no good”! Oh Yeah! Something appropriately catchy to hum along, whilst inspirationally pondering our next National Vote to oust. Cause there’s thousands of suitable, unemployed, denied southern workers ready to up & contribute, if given due preference, encouragement & assistance! Wake Up Australia & Let’s remember what it was like to put Australia First! & Not give arrogant excuses for proper democratic representation another conning chance! Cheers, Furbo Lou!
Cecil B | 5/08/2012 11:44 2
@ Furbo Lou. You are quite incorrect in you assumptions. Why is there so many "southern Australians" who do not want to work on current mining projects in Central QLD and WA? Also, while I am absolutely no supporter of the current Fed Government, check the EMA. The people must be employed at Aussie wages & Aussie workplace and health regulations, not Congo or Zimbabwe rules, also not cheaper $15 a day African wages. The fact remains there are NOT thousands suitable (with the emphasis on suitable) unemployed southern workers as you claim, because if they were available, why are they not here in Central QLD in the industry? There may be several union hacks and people with a BA degree in Social Science and latte making who do not have jobs, but properly trained tradesmen? No! The real issue remains that most suitably trained people do not want to relocate to remote WA or Central QLD, or do not want the FIFO lifestyle.
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