Under a new Federal Government initiative, mining companies will have to post job vacancies on a website for Australian job-hunters before seeking foreign workers.
Unions were infuriated when the first Enterprise Migration Agreement was approved last month.
Mining magnate Gina Rinehart was given the green light to bring in 1,700 foreign workers to her company’s Roy Hill iron ore mine in Western Australia’s Pilbara.
The Government has now designed to make it easier to connect employers and Australian job-seekers.
Job vacancies will have to be posted there before companies seek overseas workers.
The Australian Mines and Metals Association has welcomed the move.
Meanwhile the West Australian Government is trying to lure workers to the state’s mining industry, with a delegation led by Training and Workforce Development Minister Peter Collier.
The delegation also includes Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest.
Mr Collier says the state’s skills shortage is worsening, and more than 70,000 extra workers will be needed in the state by 2015.
“There’s always been a disconnect between the views of those from the east in terms of coming to the west,” he said.
“For some reason they feel that they’re being banished to Siberia if they come to the west which is abject nonsense of course.
“The quality of life here is second to none and the salaries and job opportunities are plentiful, what we have to do is sell that message.”
Unions WA has labelled the trip an expensive stunt.