Australia needs a modern and adaptable workplace system that attracts investment, drives sustainable wage growth, supports communities and contributes to national prosperity.
The Australian minerals industry has a strong record of creating and sustaining highly paid, highly skilled and secure jobs. The mining industry directly employs approximately 286,000 people across Australia, more than triple the number employed in 2001. Eight-eight per cent of miming workers are permanently employed and 96 per cent are full-time.
Deloitte Access Economics estimates that the mining and mining equipment, technology and services sector directly employs 480,000 people and indirectly supports another 650,000 jobs through purchases from other sectors.
The industry paid $252 billion in mining wages between 2012-13 to 2021-22. In 2021-22, the average full-time adult total earnings in mining was $144,000, compared to $95,000 across all industries.
Increasing wages requires increasing productivity in Australian workplaces and enabling businesses to reward higher performance.
Access to a range of employment options at each workplace allows for a more efficient and innovative workforce where pay is linked to performance.
Australian mining is the nation’s highest paying industry. It requires a modern workplace system that allows for businesses to continue to provide the most competitive terms and conditions to attract and maintain workers.
Labour Hire and 'Same job, Same pay' legislation
Mining companies adapt their employment arrangements to suit very different locations, ore bodies, production techniques, occupations and worker preferences. Service contractors perform specialist tasks, ranging from the removal of overburden to planned maintenance shutdowns. By necessity, this requires a workforce that includes a combination of ongoing direct employees as well as service providers to perform specific tasks on a non-ongoing basis. Some companies use labour hire to manage temporary expansions and increases in demand, while others deploy specialised teams of employees for specific safety, environment and productivity projects.
The reintroduction of multi-employer bargaining into the Australian workplace relations regime is also bad for job security and wages. It also risks exposing Australia’s most productive workplaces to strike action across entire industries or supply chains. Genuine enterprise agreements and individual arrangements allow firms to employ a diverse and adaptable workforce and link pay to productivity performance. The resources sector can only pay the highest average earnings in the country because it is a technological innovator and one of the most productive industries in the world.