Western Australia’s Goldfields region is set to receive an economic boost with the Morrison Government signing a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
The Goldfields will be among one of the first regions in Australia to enter a five-year agreement with the Commonwealth aimed at ensuring skilled migrants contribute through employment in key roles where Australian workers are not available.
The new arrangements will assist a range of industries including mining, engineering, construction, childcare and health among others helping to drive economic growth and fill critical employment gaps.
Covering 73 occupations, up to 500 people per year will be able to be sponsored over the five-year agreement through the Kalgoorlie-Boulder DAMA.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman said the Federal Government is working to address the skills needs of regional Australia.
“The Morrison Government is working to support the growth of regions and match our migration program with labour market needs, particularly in regional Australia,” Mr Coleman said.
“Our first priority is always to fill jobs with Australians, but the immigration system can play an important role in helping to address regional skills gaps.
“We have seen the success of the DAMA arrangement in the Northern Territory and the Government is committed to supporting the skills needs of regional Australia where Australian workers are not available to fill those jobs.
Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson commended the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder for their hard work and willingness to work with the Commonwealth to support the local community.
“The Goldfields has suffered from a skilled workforce shortage for too long which is having a negative impact on the entire community,” Mr Wilson said.
“Through this agreement, we will see more families moving to the Goldfields which will in turn have a flow-on effect on the economy.”
Chief Executive Officer of the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder John Walker said the DAMA would offer a solution to ongoing skill shortages and the estimated 1,500 job vacancies in the Goldfields region.
“The City welcomes the Federal Government’s support and believes a DAMA will encourage skilled migrants to come work and reside in regional Western Australia,” Mr Walker said.
“We are very pleased to see this five year labour agreement between the Shires of Coolgardie, Leonora and Menzies and the City with the Federal Government, with the strong support of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Regional Development Australia Goldfields Esperance come to fruition.”
The Government will continue to engage and work with regions around the country experiencing skill shortages to find tailored solutions through the use of a DAMA.