May 28, 2012

EMA debacle: more incompetent policy-making from Labor

The shambles around the announcement of the first Enterprise Migration Agreement is a good illustration of the incompetent state of Australian political policy-making.

Alan Kohler

Business Spectator editor-in-chief

Yesterday’s shambles around the announcement of the first Enterprise Migration Agreement (EMA) is a pretty good illustration of the dysfunctional, incompetent state of Australian political policy-making.

The introduction of EMAs was first revealed in last year’s budget speech by Wayne Swan. It was a throwaway line, attached to an announcement of 16,000 skilled migration places for the “regions”.

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25 thoughts on “EMA debacle: more incompetent policy-making from Labor

  1. SBH

    And for added flavour – where does Twiggy Forrest’s failed Australian Employment Covenant fit into this picture. After pledging to find 50,000 jobs for Aborigines, many of whom live near mining hotspots, he’s found about two thousand jobs in total.

    Close the Gap? more like shut the door.

  2. Jimmy

    I find this article interesting, it ostensibly accuses the govt of stuffing up the policy while saying the actions taken by the govt are not only required but also important.
    It blames the govt for the reaction of the unions (which are always going to be at least seen to be representing the intersts of their membership) and media who are always going to portray the slightest ember as a raging bushfire.

  3. Stephen

    Australians are already being offered two or three times AWE to work in mining, houses in Karratha rent at Manhattan levels, we already have a precipitously high migration program, the mining tax has been neutered, and we don’t have a proper resource fund, so the multi-billionaire still needs a special deal otherwise we won’t be able to dig up every last skerrick of earth before last Thursday.

    In whose interest is this deranged and disorderly panic? If I vaporised my own private economic resources in this unseemly manner, I imagine someone would give me an injection and take power of attorney over me. While I understand that the ‘balanced budget’ may require us to be civil to the Ginas of the world, no matter how odious they are as human beings, I can’t admire these repeated genuflections.

  4. sottile6

    I find the attitude this article expresses extraordinary. What Kohler is asking for is some kind of Stalinist policy making where unionists are not free to express an opinion different from the government’s. The increasing calls from those on the right for totalitarian solutions to the problems of modern capitalism are amazing. The Keating and Hawke governments and the ACTU came to agreements after many years of negotiation starting in the 1970’s. It wasn’t a magical thing but the Accord was also criticised heavily by many both on the left and the right of politics at the time. The relationships between unions and government today is very much the norm for labour history. Kohler is expressing his own ignorance here and should do some research. This is quite a childish article.

  5. GeeWizz

    So Labor think foreign workers are better than Australian workers for half the price?

    If Gina can’t get Aussie workers on her project it means she isn’t paying them enough… this is a supply and demand market just like any other. Perhaps she could dip into her “wealthiest woman in the world” bank account and find the extra funds needed for an all Australian staff.

    Just another Gillard Labor stuff up….

  6. Jimmy

    Geewizz – What makes me think that if the govt had of opposed this EMA you would of been on here having a go at the govt about that.

    The EMA doesn’t guarantee thre will be 1700 foreign workers (out of about 6500 by the way) it just provides financiers confidence that the project will be able to be completed because workers will be able to be found.

    As for paying them half the price do you have evidence of that, reports I heard over the weekend was that they would be employed under Australian conditions and at Australian rates.

  7. GeeWizz

    [“I find this article interesting, it ostensibly accuses the govt of stuffing up the policy while saying the actions taken by the govt are not only required but also important.”]

    For years now Dillard and Swan have been whinging about Gina Rinehart ripping off Australians.

    Then a week later they do her a “special deal” to import 1700 foreign workers to take Australians jobs.

    It really is a bad look, no matter how the hacks try and spin it. We’ll add this one into the growing list of government stuff ups….

  8. GeeWizz

    Jimmy what this country desperately needs is a Schools-To-Work program.

    What currently happens is that Grade 12 students are told to do their studies, do some lame intelligence test and then they are on their own… off you go… not our problem any more. It’s complete BS and a dud system.

    What I want to see is starting in Grade 10 at least one day a week designated to tertiary or work experience outside of school. Send the kids who want to go to Tafe to Tafe. Send the kids who want to go to Uni to Uni. Send the kids who want to train for the mines to a mines training site. Send the kids who want to work in retail or hospitality to work experience.

    This is how it should be… but our leaders are too p1ss weak or lazy to radically change Australia’s education system. Kids don’t know what to do after they leave school, a lot will committ suicide because they feel “lost” or end up on the dole.

    So what I’m suggesting is actions that will put people after school into studies or occupations as soon as they leave school…. and they will know what they want to do because they will have tried it already.

    How does this relate to mining jobs? Guaranteed jobs on completion of training at the high school level…. thats how.

    Sick of hearing about there being a lack of “skilled workers” when the government treats school kids like idiots.

  9. Jimmy

    Again Geewizz 6500 jobs at Roy Hill, UP TO 1700 MAY be taken by foreign workers.

    Would you prefer the govt refuse the possible visas and the financiers walk away becasue of the lack of certainty, the project doesn’t get done and there are no jobs for anyone?

    And given thre are expected to be 65,000 jobs created through new mining projects in the next 3 years do you really expect them all to be sourced from Australia?

  10. Jimmy

    Hmm – Good rant there Geewizz once agina largely ignoring any facts but ask yourself this, which govt is putting more money into tafe training places and introducing a HECS style loan for Tafe fees?

    And where is your condemnation of the Victorian govt ripping millions out of TAFE funding?

    And again there are going to be 65,000 jobs created in 3 years do you want al of these guaranteed for Australians even if it means jeopardising the project altogether?

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