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Spreading the Benefits of the Boom to Tasmania

Friday, August 3, 2012

As part of its national consultations, the Caucus Committee examining how to spread the benefits of the mining boom met with representatives from the mining industry, employer and union representative groups as well as state and local government representatives and the community sector.

“It was vital for the committee to visit Tasmania to discuss with stakeholders how we can meet the serious policy challenges thrown up by the boom,” said Senator Urquhart.

“Today we heard that there is a net loss to Tasmania, particularly a loss of skilled workers, because of the mining boom.”

“Tasmania educates and trains many workers who are then lost to the interstate mining industry.”

“We also heard of the difficulties faced by skilled workers from Tasmania in securing jobs in the mining industry in the states of WA, Queensland and SA.

“Given the negative effect of the mining industry on Tasmania, there should be reciprocal obligations on the industries and governments who benefit from the training of skilled workers in Tasmania.”

“A key initiative discussed by the committee is the establishment of a National Mining and Engineering Skills Hub in Tasmania to provide opportunities for Tasmanians to upskill and undertake apprenticeships within Tasmania and subsequently work in Tasmania or interstate.”

“The committee is of the view that establishing the Skills Hub will be assisted by the roll out of the NBN and should be funded by the mining industry and supported by the Federal Government and the State Governments who are receiving the benefits of the exports of Tasmanian skills,”

“There is a solid mining industry in Tasmania with a relatively steady workforce, diverse ore deposits and quality educators such as UTAS, the Australian Maritime College and the soon to be re-established TAFE Tasmania,”

“I am strongly of the view that the parties who benefit from the training of skilled workers in Tasmania should make a financial contribution to a National Mining and Engineering Skills Hub in Tasmania as this will benefit the national economy and facilitate spreading the benefits of the boom to Tasmania.”

“The Committee will report to the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party Caucus over the coming weeks and I’ll be pushing hard for the establishment of this Skills Hub in Tasmania.”

“I will ensure there is ongoing consultation with the groups we met with today in relation to this important issue.”


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