A CHALLENGE was thrown down to mining magnates yesterday by independent MP Rob Oakeshott: Send a plane to his NSW electorate and he will fill it with workers.
“I’d have 100 to 150 people ready straight away,” he said yesterday.
Mr Oakeshott and fellow NSW independent Tony Windsor said the mining industry had not done enough to actively recruit workers on the east coast, especially from regional areas with high unemployment.
Enterprise migration agreements recently approved by the federal government will allow big mining projects to bring in foreign workers to make up for labour shortfalls.
“It annoys me that it has entered mythology that the east won’t go over to the west to work,” he said.
He said his region had run four jobs expos in the past few years.
“I haven’t seen the WA mining industry at any of them,” he said.
Mr Windsor said miners had to improve their recruitment efforts.