Kloppers Says Aussie Workers are No Mobile Enough
Marius Kloppers, Chief Executive of BHP Billiton, says that Australian workers from the east coast are seen to be less willing relocate when compared to their foreign counterparts in Canada and the United States. This is probably because they are inclined to attend the university where they grew up.
In his speech, Kloppers made a warning on rigid regulations of the mining sector of Australia.
According to Mr. Kloppers, flexible regulation will be advantageous to the nation attracting more investment in the future. In his speech, he also aimed at the carbon tax details as well as the foreign worker debate that was sparked by the application of bringing 1700 foreign workers to the Roy Hill Project as initiated by Hancock Prospecting.
It is interesting to note that the BHP has not had a need yet to consider applying for EMA. And Kloppers says this is because the company has a stable and strong workforce in WA.
He also added that companies who are entering the market while it is still hot will have difficulty attracting labor.
“Arguably the biggest challenge that we’ve got is labour mobility. People simply are not not willing enough to move to Western Australia,” he said.
Mr. Kloppers understands and recognizes that among the barriers for people to move to the West is tax differences. However, he also thinks that there are other factors causing this.
“Anecdotally my personal observation would be that particularly on the east coast people tend to study in their own home towns and that sets the basis for ‘I’m going to live where I grew up’,” he said and indicated that the price of coffee in Perth could also be a deterrent.
According to him, moving to another state by Canadians and Americans tends to be easier because their culture is about sending kids away.
“Australia’s future prosperity depends not on investments that have been made in the past but on ensuring that we continue to attract investment flows in the sector in which we arguably have the greatest competitive advantage,” he said.