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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6429

Mr BOWEN (McMahonMinister for Immigration and Citizenship) (17:28): In relation to the enterprise migration agreement, as has been commented upon by me, the Prime Minister and other government spokespeople, we are of course committed to ensuring that Australians have opportunities to apply for the 8,000 positions being created by the Roy Hill project. It is a requirement of the EMA that Roy Hill make every effort to employ locals. There are 6,700 jobs earmarked for Australians. Of course, as has been publicly commented upon, the Prime Minister and I have referred to the use of the jobs board and its reference in the enterprise migration agreement. I do not envisage that that commitment does in any way delay the implementation of the EMA or the project. In relation to site agreements, again, I remind the honourable member that I have no involvement in site agreements. Of course, I have met and discussed various matters with Roy Hill. They are a matter for Roy Hill and any discussions I have had with them are in relation to their approach to the project generally.

I can confirm the honourable member's suggestion that unions were consulted. That consultation process is outlined in enterprise migration agreement guidelines that I released in September 2011. That consultation is substantial. It requires Roy Hill to talk to relevant trade unions and enables trade unions to be participants in the program. That is what has occurred. That was a key recommendation of the National Employment Resources Taskforce committee, chaired by the then Parliamentary Secretary for Western and Northern Australia, the now Special Minister of State. The whole idea is to have a holistic approach, but that does not mean, as the honourable member may have noticed, that every trade union is happy with the results, but it does mean that they were involved in the consultation, which is important and would be the case for other enterprise migration agreements going forward in the future.

In relation to the honourable member's question about cabinet matters, I have nothing to add to my answer of yesterday in the House and I certainly have nothing to add in any question about timing.