MORE than 1500 jobs in Queensland’s Bowen Basin are going begging despite salaries worth close to half a million dollars for executives and some companies offering free home loans to employees.
Recruiters are now offering big incentives to get the right people, sparking a pay war between Queensland and Western Australia with direct flights now taking workers from Brisbane to jobs in the Pilbara. Anglo Coal and Xstrata also have a swag of jobs on their websites.
“Companies are doing their darndest to just hold the line on vacancies,” Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said.
Labourers are getting $100,000 in Dalby and dozer drivers are earning $50 an hour.
“I’ve seen sign-on bonuses for 50 per cent of a salary,” Robert Walters’ head of mining and engineering Adam Harris said.
He said some executives were getting their home loans repaid, others had their children’s school fees covered and huge bonuses were being paid to stay beyond three or four years.
1300 mining jobs posted in one week
The QRC also found that there were 4924 current internet job advertisements for the mining industry in Queensland with 1300 posted in one week in April.
Mr Roche said recruitment was the number one issue for companies. “There’s fierce competition and a choosy workforce where people are deciding the terms and where they will live,” he said.
While workers are enjoying a golden period there are growing concerns in regional Queensland that the mining boom is going too far, too fast.
“The boom is going at 100 miles an hour. I think we need to take a serious look at it.”
However, Mr Roche said companies were making huge contributions to communities.
Isaac Shire Council, in the heart of the Bowen Basin, has called for a cap on non-residential workers who fly in each roster and leave for their weekends at home in Brisbane or other cities. See our earlier report on this.