Fill jobs that are ‘back­bone of ev­ery com­mu­nity’

North West Telegraph - - News - Jac­qui Boy­dell, WA Na­tion­als deputy leader and Min­ing and Pas­toral MLC

“Jobs jobs jobs” was the catchcry of Mark McGowan in the lead-up to the last elec­tion.

What Mr McGowan didn’t re­alise then, and still doesn’t now, is that in many re­gional ar­eas it’s not job cre­ation that we need but peo­ple to fill the va­can­cies that al­ready ex­ist. I’m not talk­ing about tem­po­rary, highly paid min­ing and construction jobs. I’m talk­ing about the jobs that are the back­bone of ev­ery com­mu­nity: the hair­dressers, clean­ers, chefs, bar­tenders, restau­rant wait staff, the newsagent, child­care work­ers, nurses, teach­ers and doc­tors. These are the peo­ple who trans­form towns into com­mu­ni­ties. Many towns in WA have job va­can­cies in these ar­eas with no one ready or will­ing to fill the po­si­tions. The re­sult of busi­nesses not be­ing able to get staff ? They close. Towns stag­nate. Peo­ple move away.

We need to bring peo­ple to the re­gions and a Des­ig­nated Area Mi­gra­tion Agree­ment is a sen­si­ble and suit­able op­tion to do this. As min­ing ramps up again, draw­ing ser­vice work­ers to higher-paid, short-term jobs, we need new peo­ple to fill the void. We need to at­tract peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about their work, com­mit­ted to stay­ing in their cho­sen field of em­ploy­ment and will­ing to be­come ac­tive mem­bers of the com­mu­nity. Im­ple­ment­ing a tar­geted DAMA could as­sist in help­ing our re­gions grow.

There seems to be two schools of thought on DA­MAs within La­bor ranks. We have Alan­nah MacTier­nan, the Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment, say­ing: “The pro­gram would ben­e­fit the lo­cal skills shortage and give mi­grants a gen­tle in­tro­duc­tion to Aus­tralian Life”. La­bor Mem­ber for the Min­ing and Pas­toral Re­gion Kyle McGinn has said: “We don’t need to start seek­ing work­ers from overseas.”

I im­plore the Gov­ern­ment to sit down, talk to the com­mu­ni­ties and de­vise poli­cies that sup­port our re­gional towns.

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