Wednesday 6 March 2013 

Special Edition 26

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Stop demonising mining employers, work with them to

create Australian jobs

Steve Knott, chief executive, Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA, 15 February 2013

ON top of an ongoing obsession to impose new taxes on our industry, Australia’s

resource employers have been unfairly demonised twice in the past fortnight.

First was the launch of a politically-motivated trade union campaign that misleads

the Australian public on the usage of skilled migration in our industry. Official

data is that 28,500 new jobs were created in the resource sector in the last 12

months and 92% were filled by Australians.

This week, the long-awaited parliamentary committee report into the impacts of

Fly-in, Fly-out and Drive-in, Drive-out working arrangements dropped the ball on a

unique opportunity to discuss how the industry and government can work together to

address skills, regional infrastructure and community development.

The ‘Cancer of the Bush’ headline arising from the committee’s report is demeaning

to thousands of Australian FIFO workers and offensive to families who have lost

loved ones to cancer. It is totally inappropriate from our nation’s leaders to stoop

to such language.

Instead, the government should be promoting existing initiatives already in place to

transition Australians into mining employment and provide the training, skills and

knowledge required to participate in the great opportunities within our industry.

AMMA’s industry-run careers website miningoilandgasjobs.com demonstrates the extent

of the interest in resources employment, but also the divide in skills available and

skills required. Last year the website received millions of visits and averaged

30,000 job applications a month.

Right now, there are 1800 vacant positions listed on the jobs board and 7600

Australian workers with their resumes uploaded. The industry is doing all it can to

share opportunities throughout the Australian community.

AMMA is connecting candidates directly to resource industry employers.

miningoilandgasjobs.com is continuously updating its Careers and Industry Guide to

include new information on training, apprenticeships, tickets required for certain

jobs and the lifestyles on offer.

We are actively helping people without experience in our industry get a foot in the

door. miningoilandgasjobs.com was also an integral resource in ensuring the

government had some real jobs advertised on its own resources jobs board in May

2012. The industry site is still feeding the government site employment

opportunities today.

This industry-led initiative is leading the way while other AMMA initiatives, many

supported by the government include:The Australian Women in Resources Alliance

(AWRA) which is helping break down barriers to the attraction and retention of women

in the industry;AMMA Skills Connect, a dedicated program to transitioning displaced

workers into the resource industry through bridging skills gaps and new training

opportunities; andTraining and Development grants offered by the government and

delivered through registered training organisations like AMMA.There are 270,000

Australians directly employed in mining, with many more in associated and ancillary

jobs. Employment growth is sitting at 25% annually and industry forecasts are that

90,000 new jobs will be created in the next two to three years.

In the past year alone, the industry has paid $20 billion in taxes and royalties to

state and federal governments.

It’s time for government and unions to stop opportunistically demonising the

resource industry. Allow our sector to get on with the job of creating employment

for Australians and contribute significantly to the economy and national prosperity.

Coober Pedy Voters Social Media Opportunity


    Voters in ten key electorates across Australia will have a chance to influence what

the federal election is all about through a groundbreaking project run by a team of

University of Melbourne researchers, with the social media group OurSay.

  The Citizens' Agenda project will ask people in the Federal electorate of Grey, not 'who will you

vote for?' but rather 'what do you want the election to be about?'.

  The project will enable voters in the electorates to ask questions on the OurSay

social media website, and to vote for the questions that have been posted by others.

The questions that attract most support will then be put to the candidates at public

meetings held in each seat during the election campaign.

  A team of University of Melbourne researchers is using the project to measure and

test whether the use of social media to detect a "Citizens Agenda" of issues can be

used to improve voters' political engagement, and influence the way that journalists

report politics.

  The Citizens' Agenda<http://visions-download.unimelb.edu.au/CitizensAgenda_FS.pdf>

project is being driven by the University's Centre for Advancing

Journalism<http://caj.unimelb.edu.au/>, and involves researchers from politics,

media and communications and journalism.

  The researchers believe this is the world's first social media "intervention" of its

kind.

  The Director of the Centre for Advancing Journalism, Dr Margaret Simons, said the

project should answer questions that have become increasingly urgent for both

journalists and politicians.

  "There is a great deal of discussion about the potential positive impact of social

media on democracy and journalism," she said, "but few pieces of research that

actually measure whether it can live up to its promise."

  "We will provide an opportunity for a 'citizens' agenda' to emerge, as an addition

to the agendas of both politicians and journalists, while increasing citizens'

interest and involvement in the larger political contest."

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Reporting an inconvenient truth

  “Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt broke a mainstream

media drought today,” said FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips.

  “He reported significant news which has been ignored by major outlets for 11

days: the Federal Court ruling by Justice Jayne Jagot that marriage is not

discriminatory.”

  Justice Jagot’s common sense ruling was reported in a

FamilyVoice media release last week

(http://www.fava.org.au/news/2013/aussie-judge-rules-marriage-is-not-discriminatory/),

an overseas website the week before, and in the gay press.  But Fairfax

and News Limited papers, along with the ABC and commercial TV channels, were

silent – until the Andrew Bolt column today.

  “The court ruling that there is no discrimination in

man-woman marriage means that slogans such as Marriage Equality are

misleading and wrong,” Ros Phillips said.  “This truth appears to be too

inconvenient for most mainstream editors.

  “We now hope to see prominent reporting of the latest

marriage-related news – a House

of Representatives petition being circulated by the Polyamory Action

Lobby, which reads:

  ‘For too long has Australia denied people the right to marry

the ones they care about.  We find this abhorrent.  We believe that

everyone should be allowed to marry their partners, and that the law should

never be a barrier to love.  And that’s why we demand nothing less than

the full recognition of polyamorous families.’

  “But recent experience suggests we should not hold our

breath,” Ros Phillips said.

 



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