Look west

The Maritime Union is worried about jobs, they should look to encouraging their $91,000 per annum container movers to seek jobs in the mining industry in Australia. There is a massive shortage of unskilled labour in Western Australia.

In the remote mining hub of Dampier, shipping company manager Gary Bawden sees the red-hot demand for workers first hand. From this month, he’ll be offering $120,000 a year to people looking to work as a deckhand.

The only qualification needed for the 26-week-a-year job is to have finished school and completed a seven-day safety course. The work is tough, with most staff flying into the West Australian town for five-week stints away from their families.

Average temperatures can be well above 30 degrees.

But more than anything, the generous pay packets reflect the chronic shortage of workers in the nation’s resources hot spots.

And while the jobs market may be slowing to a crawl in much of Australia, Bawden, who manages the port services division of boating company Bhaghwan Marine, has few doubts the shortages will intensify.

Activity in the business has nearly doubled in the past three years, and he thinks the rapid growth will continue.

”The only thing that’s going to stop it from growing is the lack of infrastructure,” Bawden says.

”It will probably keep going like this until about 2013-14, then we may see a drop-off.”

Bawden needs to offer such high pay to compete with offshore gas companies, which can pay a deckhand $160,000.

Of course they might not like having to actually work for 43 hours in order to get 43 hours of pay rather than the 28 hours they have to do currently.

The article highlights the folly of the Greens and Labour for opposing mining in New Zealand:

Scenarios like this are being repeated around the country’s mining hot-spots, raising growing concerns that labour shortages could become critical this year.

The Australian Mines and Metals Association, for instance, says the sheer volume of projects under construction in the new year will start to stretch the market as work begins on even more projects.

Citing figures from Pit Crew Management Consulting Services, it says the total pipeline of approved and unapproved projects is worth a staggering $588.5 billion.

But in a sign of just how much the boom is concentrated in states where most people don’t live, some $231.5 billion of confirmed projects are in Western Australia, with a further $75.1 billion of certain projects in Queensland.

The lobby group says demand for construction workers alone will accelerate to peak at 83,000 jobs early next year, while the operational workforce will not peak until it reaches 85,000 in 2016.

So while we are forced to build cycleways to create a few hundred jobs because the Greens and Labour oppose mining Australia meanwhile is creating 83,000 jobs by digging up their mineral resources.

National really should adopt those graffiti slogans of the election. Drill it, mine it, Sell it, Create Jobs!


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  • ConwayCaptain

    I was out on the Maui filed in the early 80’s.  During construction there were many o’seas workers as there is not the expertise in NZ for that kind of construction.

    However the DSV was manned by Kiwis in all depts inc the diving side but there were also many Yanks there for the same reason as above.

    The supply boats were NZ manned as was the platform etc.

    However this would not be possible today as there are damn all NZ certificated officers as we have decimated the merchant fleet.

    Notwithstanding this as the rigs etc will be inside the 200 mile limit a NZ Coastal cert could suffice and crews inc officers could be trained up for this.

    The whole infrastructure would employ many Kiwis ranging from engineering anmd fabrications work, supply of catering services, accommodation ashore and a myriad other services.  Look at Fitzroy engineering in NP.

    What we need is a company like Norwegian Statoil who are worth BILLIONS and all the profits are squirrelled away in the Norwegian Fund for when oil runs out.  Not spent and squandered like the UK.

    Yes there have been highp[rofile cases like Deepwater Horizon and others in the UK but considering how many rigs etc there are in the world it is a v low risk.  Just steam from the S end of the Florida Peninsula to the entrance to New Orleans and see bhow many rigs there are.  Look at a chart of the N North Sea.

  • sailorx

    Family members from Perth found this article hilarious. sad thing is that people uproot and take off for Australia believing this sort of nonsense to be true only to find that the situation in Australia is just as grim as here.There is work in the mining and maritime industries but in the main this is reserved for those with qualifications and experience.

    • JAX

      Yeah, i mean its not like Australia doesnt have its share of unemployed , layabouts, unionists etc who all believe in less work for more pay because they deserve it.   So why are they not heading there?    

      Also the cost of living is horrendous,  expect to pay 1-2k per week for rent. 

  • Doug


    Finding No. 4732 –
    This Roy Morgan survey on Australia’s unemployment and
    ‘underemployed’* is based on weekly face-to-face interviews covering
    October 2011 – December 2011 with 13,106 Australians aged 14 and over.:
    January 09, 2012

    In the October — December Quarter 2011 according to Roy Morgan:

    Within the Australian workforce (12,005,000 people either employed or looking for work) — 2.01 million or 16.8% are unemployed or underemployed in December 2011.


  • sailorx

    Australians are also becoming increasingly concerned about their rapidly vanishing retirement savings.It would seem that the much lauded government scheme is mproving to be yet another political rort.Fans of Kiwisaver be warned.