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Industry body demands jobs for the life of major projects

Australian Resources and Energy Group
Australian Resources and Energy Group

An industry employer group is standing up for mine workers who are worried about job security at large resource developments.

Australian Resources and Energy Group (AMMA) is urging Federal Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter to help allow enterprise agreements to run the entire course of major project construction.

‘Sensible and long overdue’

AMMA promised the move would be a “sensible and long overdue” reform, which would give certainty and help make the most of the next mining and energy boom.

“The ability for an enterprise agreement to cover the full length of major project construction would provide critical investment certainty that will assist future multi-billion-dollar mega project development,” AMMA CEO Steve Knott said in a public statement.

“AMMA has long argued the case for ‘life-of-project agreements’ since before the commencement of the Fair Work Act 2009,” he said. “This now forms one of the resources and energy industry’s eight key priorities for fixing Australia’s failing industrial relations system, as outlined in [the] Pathway to Productivity.”

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$41B of projects coming

Knott made the remarks not long after AMMA predicted there will be 57 upcoming resources projects worth a combined total of $41 billion committed or likely to proceed. Another 153 are earmarked as possible and awaiting final investment decision.

“Some recent mega projects have suffered cost blow-outs and completion delays due to unnecessary industrial action mid-to-late in the construction phase. Ameliorating this risk going forward by allowing an agreement to run the full length of project construction undoubtedly has merit,” he said.

“AMMA will build a strong case for life-of-project enterprise agreements and how they would deliver more jobs and wage growth while strengthening Australia’s economy.”