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Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s Mini Boom Could Be Short-Lived If Vacant Jobs Not Filled


Five years ago, the mining boom went to a standstill in Australia, and in Western Australia, things are now looking up again, along with the rest of the country.

Recent surveys suggest that Kalgoorlie-Boulder requires more than 1500 workers in the area to fill all the vacant jobs. The roles, ranging from mining to local hospitality, tourism and childcare, are widespread in the region, and hard to fill.

There are many reasons in which the roles can’t be filled, ranging from the restrictions set on temporary working visas, to high costs of living in the area. Australia’s migration rules have been squeezed to a point where they are now restricting industry. In mining and drilling alike, it is becoming more difficult to find skill-based employees due to the tightened restrictions. Although the changes were brought in to ensure companies advertise locally first for skilled personnel, there is still a massive gap in the skill-based roles due to the changes, and a lack of Australian based employees.

Even though the mining region famous for the iconic Super Pit is booming, thanks to strong gold prices and a rebirth of the local nickel industry. With major production increases and new mines set to open in both uranium and lithium markets, employers in all industries are struggling to find staff.

Kalgoorlie-Boulder has a population of around 30,000 people, and the mining production it is already predicted to intensify in the coming years, thanks to a global increase in lithium needs for batteries. But without employees to keep businesses running, the future boom could be short-lived.


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  • I don’t buy it.
    The skills are there but wages to attract Australians in to those jobs and relocate to regional centers is not high enough to motivate people to take up a job in an industry notorious for cyclic and widespread redundancies.
    Big Business advocate unfettered mass immigration because they want a massive pool of human capital with which to better secure a lower wage environment and incrementally erode conditions. They don’t care who does the work as long as they can get it done at the lowest cost possible. Corporations would relish a return to feudalism and the psuedo slavery of the Industrial revolution, not because they are bad but because it increases bottom line.
    If the Industry is prepared to pay more and invest in training for locals, including indigenous people they may see that current and future needs are met. Put Australians first and stop trying to justify increasing an already over inflated immigration rate of 160,000 people per annum.
    I’ve been in the mining industry for 30 years and see many a boom and bust. Somehow the industry always manages to get the people in to the jobs and equally has no problem moving them on when they are no longer needed. Such an environment means that workers have become mercenary rather than loyal to the industry. We want to be well remunerated for it. That simple.