Aussies want local miners before foreign ones: Survey

A SURVEY commissioned by the mine workers' union has found four out of five Australians want mining companies to ensure local workers are employed before importing foreign employees.

The survey, completed for the CFMEU, showed 80% of respondents said mining companies should have to prove they searched for Australian workers before being allowed to import temporary foreign workers.

CFMEU general national secretary Dave Noonan said the survey showed a significant majority opposed the enterprise migration agreement (EMA) for the Roy Hill iron ore project in Western Australia.

But government documents show under such EMAs, companies already have to prove they thoroughly searched the domestic jobs market for suitable applicants.

The survey also showed 70% of respondents agreed a committee of regulators, unions and mine companies should be set up to oversee the EMA process.

"Ms Rinehart may dream of a 'Wild North' in which mining magnates can fly in exploitable temporary foreign workers at will, but the overwhelming majority of Australians are simply not buying it," Mr Noonan said.

"They want strict controls on EMAs and independent oversight."


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