My World

Mining more than the ground...

As mentioned in a previous post – the 'grass is greener..' post, I have been asked many times whether I have thought of getting a job in the mining sector. Not by people in the mining industry.  It's an industry in Australia that is advertising for workers to simply drive dump trucks for $150k a year. We see television ads out here showing women driving trucks several stories high. I mean, who wouldn't want that sort of money in these economic times?? However, the hard part is not knowing where and how to go about getting into the mining industry. Especially when you don't have the particular skills the industry ads say they're looking for. Is it a case of 'who you know'??

 

 

 

Do a search on Google for mining jobs australia and you get this: Australia-mining which tells you it gets people into mining jobs but first, and heres the catch, you have to pay for a report on how best to get a job in the industry. Since when do we have to pay for something to tell us how to get a job. I'm sure other recruitment agencies would love this business model. The business model here comprises of employers who need staff paying an agency to recruit. So, for an agency to expect payment from the applicants too is a bit rich. It doesn't work here, why should an unemployed person or a person looking to switch jobs be made to pay an agency for a printed report with no promise of an actual job?? I mean, would you pay a dating agency for a report into how to get a date but not actually get a date? Another Big Fat NO!

 

Of course, not everyone can do these jobs. I mean, if you have say 'records management experience' you would think that you could get a 'document controller' position but NO you'd be wrong! In fact, 'document control' is a specialised field in the construction/mining industries in which you not only have to have records experience/knowledge but technical knowledge of maps, drawings and plans as well. Sorry, but that's just what i've been told on several occasions by people who should know.  But it always comes back to the old question of 'how do you get the experience without getting the job?' So, what I say next might be seen as 'sour grapes' then but truly it's not. It's just what I see as the goings on in the debate we're having in this country regarding the Mining Boom. I have found a lot of links to articles about the issues that I have linked to here, it is up to you to go forth and read or not.

 

I hear that Gina Rinehart is looking to bring in foreign workers to fill jobs in a new project. She was on television saying that there are African workers who would work for a few dollars a day. Is that what she wants to pay her employees here?? I guess it would be great for her if she could, i mean think of the difference between the amounts of money being bandied about for each Aussie worker and then the measly money the Africans would work for?! This is an example of true capitalism at its worst. She says Aussies need to stop complaining and work harder, of course inheriting the family fortune after fighting with your Step-mother for years doesnt hurt eh?

 

There is an advertising campaign out here that goes a little something like this: “we use to ride on the sheeps back but now we're riding on the back of a dump truck.” 'Riding on the sheeps back' is a reference to the Australian Wool Industry which was once a big deal out here and a big employer. From an environmental perspective the farmers use to 'rape the land' so to speak. Killing off native animals, introducing foreign animals and cutting down trees to make pastures for these ventures. At least these put food on our tables for most Australians. But now it seems the biggest 'rapists' in Australia are the mining industry. They are taking and selling off whats under the ground we walk on and making huge profits in the process. The act of mining is often done these days with great force such as the use of explosives and heavy machinery. Leaving great big holes in the ground as well as ripping the hearts out of a lot of small towns due to the 'FIFO' contracts of miners these days. Mining is nothing like the old days of men with panhandles, picks and shovels, we would all say thats not a bad thing and some of the big money paid out to the miners does get shared around to others such as real estate agents. I mean, with an annual income of $150k, i'm sure there are lots of miners buying houses etc.. I know i would if i was earning that sort of coin...

 

Clive Palmer is a big Queenslander who has big mining interests and is a big supporter of the LNP. Although he has recently criticised the financial credibility of the very people he helped put into power i.e Campbell Newman? I did find myself agreeing with him when criticising the current state government over the cutting of jobs in that sector, despite my opinions of him otherwise. Opinions formed on the back of his distracting the general population with some cock'n'bull conspiracy theory regarding the CIA and the Green movement conspiring to damage Australias economy with the Carbon Tax. This was done during the lead up to the last Queensland State election and he admitted afterwards in a nonchalant fashion that it was simply a distraction. But why was he trying to distract us?? Was it to help the LNP to power in Queensland?? I believe, at the time, most commentators would have said that Labour was done in Queensland anyway. So, there was no need for him to come out with this Whopper!  This is a man who wants to run for a seat in Australias parliament?!

 

Mining is big business and those at the head complain very loudly if we want to take a closer look at their operations and you should hear them when we think they should pay more for the resources that they take out of the ground! The mining tax, royalties and the carbon tax, of course these affect the big miners bottom line but my question is: What happens when the natural resources run out? What happens when they come to end of the seam? It's not an infinite supply! What's next – Mining the Moon??!! If we mine the Moon, aren't we becoming those alien creatures/extraterrestrials that we have always feared on the big screen. Think 'War of the Worlds', 'Independence Day' etc... Oh thats right, there's noone on the Moon, in the old days they would call it 'Terra Nullius' or 'empty land'.

 

The biggest consumer of our raw materials is China, a country that already has a big foreign investment in Australia. Should we be concerned about the fact that this investment is made by government-owned institutions in China? A country that is looking more and more like an economic superpower. This is a country that is sabre-rattling at its neighbours over tiny islands like never before. China has been named as the reason for our decline in manufacturing, we simply can not compete with low-paid workers there. It's not just Australia that has had its manufacturing industry decimated but the United States of America and others for this very reason. 'Outsourcing' has become a popular word in big business. So, the big Banks do it, Telcos do it and the manufacturers do it too. So, what's left for Australia? Are we just going to rely on tourism and supplying raw materials??

 

Now with the recent decision by the Australian Federal Government to allow the sale of Uranium to India, overturning a previous ban, that will open up more avenues for future destruction. Apparently, this has caused a backflip by the Queensland Government over uranium mining. We already have problems with Coal Seam Gas mining ruining properties, fouling up the water table and not paying proper compensation. Even the Federal Opposition leader advised farmers to 'lock the gate' if they didn't want CSG mining exploration on their properties.

 

In addition, the mining industry is mining talent as well. Professional people are being lured by the big dollars and moving away from other industries that are struggling. I have heard that its not just engineers and technical staff that are going to these jobs but other professionals as well such as police officers etc... What about all those who have lost jobs in other sectors such as Manufacturing and all those who have recently been taken out of the Queensland Public Service. Gina doesnt need overseas workers, we have a fair number of recently unemployed people who, with the right start and training could be great. So, with all this in mind, you might say my title statement is true... they are indeed 'Mining more than the ground'

 

Since I have mentioned that the opinions expressed here have been gathered from seeing and hearing and thinking about the media coverage of these issues. Think 'Dirty Business' on SBS. Let's stay with the media theme in my next post called 'TV shows me...'

 

Cheers

 PS.  After posting this on my original blog, i posted the following as a comment underneath but its way too long for the comments section on this blog so here it is in full...

The following is a direct quote from a friend of mine. Those who know me on Facebook will know who this comes from...

"TV shows me 'Cheers'? Well it shows how behind the times you are then.

Also, getting low paid workers from foreign countries to do jobs is not the worst type of capitalism, rather one of the better examples of it. Ie. Greater profit margins. Oh, that's right, you were being ironic. On that matter, you really don't have much room for others to have a sense of humour unlike yours, ie. Clive. Jobs are a privilege not a right!

Dating agencies run on the model you suggested and I think you are being either nasty or naive - depending on your audience - to suggest that you should expect a date because you sign to an agency. Companionship is a privilege, not a right!"

First of all, 'Cheers' is my sig or signing off on each post.. no reference to the TV show.

Second point, these comments form part of a seemingly never-ending ideological debate we have something akin to a game of monopoly that we once had which only eventually ended with one person packing up the board saying 'never again!' So you see, this is the usual critique I get from this person whenever i mention individuals such as Clive and Gina. My point about them is they are, to pardon the pun, but 'big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves'. My questioning of them relates to them making big targets of themselves. I dont know about you but i've not heard Andrew Forrest of FMG (Fortescue Metals Group) make the same outlandish claims as these other two.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Forrest

Anyway, I dont know about jobs being a 'privilege' as at the end of the day you are selling your labour to keep you in the basics and perhaps do much better than that. If they were a 'privilege' why does the Govt pay unemployment?? Sounds to me like we need to go back to the dictionary on this one? 'Privilege' always makes it sound like those nobles in olde English times or a 'pleasure'. I dont know about the latter, i mean labour being a pleasure, how many think their jobs are a pleasure??

Maybe a job is not an automatic right but more of a responsibility? This is why people look down on the unemployed, isnt it? Because they're seen as not being responsible, not providing for themselves and their families very well. There are soo many reasons for unemployment... you can be 'overeducated', 'undereducated', 'too old', 'too young' etc... basically not competitive enough! But what is the prize?? Not much of an alternative really is it??

As for the 'dating agency' business model, well, i've seen scores of Current Affair type stories on men who paid big money and got nothing... not a fair dinkum date and they call that being 'ripped off'!!!

TV is my next theme so stay tuned....

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Latest comments

10.03 | 19:15

I have stood by and watched a with concern and love. I admire the way you have handled yourself and the situation. My love with you. In admiration. Fly

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10.03 | 14:07

Well, come back the TOG you old git. We will love you unconditionally there.

Seriously though, this is a good post. I am sorry for your pain mate.

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10.03 | 12:26

Spread your wings you dodo, you might be able to fly.

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24.06 | 14:03

It's becoming increasingly important for businesses these days. Larger businesses are even employing specialists to run social media campaigns

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