No foreign fly-ins for Qld: Newman
THE Liberal National Party will not support any plans to bring in foreign labour to work in Queensland mines, leader Campbell Newman says.
His promise comes after Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed several mining companies want to use a temporary migration initiative called the Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMA) to bring foreign workers to the country.
Indian company the Adani Group has bought Graeme Acton's Moray Downs cattle station, north of Emerald, to mine and plans to build a new town to support its operations.
An Adani spokesperson said it had not applied to the Federal Government for special visas to fill jobs with overseas workers.
But CFMEU spokesman Steve Pierce said Adani should provide a written guarantee it would train Australians for the jobs.
"We hear enough rhetoric from big business all the time but we never see any iron-clad guarantee," Mr Pierce said.
Mr Newman said his party would not back plans to fly in foreign workers.
"I'm here to say today - line in the sand - the LNP will not support this sort of thing," he said.
"We need to build up rural and regional Queensland. We need to invest in infrastructure.
"We need to create a sense of community in new towns to support the minerals and resources boom.
"Flying in foreign workers on jumbo jets is completely unacceptable."
An Adani spokesperson said the company would employ Australians before it found workers from overseas.
"Australian workers will always be the first preference for Adani," the spokesperson said in a statement.
"We have always maintained that Adani Mining will exhaust all available work sources for projects within Australia before using overseas workers."
A spokesperson for Mr Bowen said that so far only one EMA had been submitted but he confirmed his department was in discussions with several other projects.
The spokesperson declined to give any names due to commercial-in-confidence reasons.
Projects must have a capital expenditure of $2 billion or more and a peak workforce of 1500 workers to be eligible for EMAs.
The Adani Group is also promising to build a new airstrip for fly-in, fly-out workers and new rail and port facilities in Queensland to help it export its coal, predominantly to India.
The construction of the project is expected to cost about $6 billion.
Premier Anna Bligh said the State Government would consider the proposal but said she would prefer to see jobs go to native workers.