Booming mining industry attracting more foreign workers

by Ray Clancy on January 5, 2012

in Australia Immigration, New Zealand

Vast numbers of New Zealanders migrating to Australia with hope of jobs in mining industry

Foreign workers are being warned that it is by no means certain that they can get jobs in Australia’s booming mining industry by charities who have found an increasing number of people are being disappointed.

The problem is that talk of high salaries is tempting a large number of young people from places like New Zealand to think they can walk into a job.

The Trans Tasman Travel Agreement of 1973 means that both Australians and New Zealanders can travel between and live in both countries without a visa.

But research shows that for the first time in history, over 50,000 New Zealanders made the move to Australia in the year ending November 2011, with less than 15,000 New Zealand citizens making the journey the other way.

Charities in Australia say that while they are tempted by news of a jobs boom they do not realise that since February 2001 Australia doesn’t provide NZ immigrants access to welfare or other government services if they lose their job.

This lack of state assistance has meant that the number of New Zealanders living in Australia in need of assistance was on the rise, according to the Logan Youth and Family Services Centre which is based in Queensland.

Chief executive Cath Bartolow said that New Zealanders aren’t aware of the difficulties they face when they don’t have access to support and assistance.

‘When they find themselves out of work, it is just so difficult to stay on their feet when the bills keep coming in,’ she explained. She added that some are ending up homeless or relying on family and friends to send them money.

Denise Love, general manager of Brisbane based Russo Recruitment, one of Queensland’s leading job companies, said the mining industry was constantly looking for new employees and New Zealand migrants were filling many positions.

‘A recent trend we have seen is migrants sending their resumes before leaving New Zealand in attempts to secure work in the mines on their arrival. It is not only young people who are making the move but whole families are coming over for the chance to work in the booming industry,’ she explained.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Guest March 12, 2012 at 2:07 am

🙁 The way the Australian government treats Kiwis living in Australia is despicable. It is all take and no give. If the Australian government refuses to recognise Kiwis as true immigrants, than they shouldn't let any of us Kiwis live there at all. Either someone is an immigrant or they are not. Why should the Australian government take taxes from Kiwis they allow to work there; while the rest of the time treat us like crap ??? It is utterly shameful !!! 🙁

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Brownie September 8, 2012 at 5:16 am

Because other migrant numbers are managed and capped, and the government can plan for the welfare they may have to provide to these people in the future. The trans Tasman agreement means that everyone in nz could move to Australia if they wanted. Imagine the strain that would put on Australia if they were all on welfare. Being entitled to welfare in australia without having to meet any of the skill requirements etc that other migrants have to meet, is wanting to have your cake and eat it too. I actually think it's pretty great that kiwis can just come and live in Australia whenever they want / for as long as they want. Don't forget that they get Medicare. It's only welfare that was tightened up in 2001. Also, if a kiwi qualifies for permanent residency (eg skilled migration, a partner visa, whatever), then they CAN apply, the same as anyone else. If they meet the criteria for that particular type of migration, as the other 'immigrants'' you have mentioned have to do, then they can become permanent residents with all the same rights

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