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29 March, 2012
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94. Mr P.C. TINLEY to the Premier:
I refer to the Premier’s comments in Singapore recently about unskilled foreign labour.
(1) With youth unemployment in the Kwinana area now running at well over 20 per cent, youth unemployment at almost 20 per cent across the state, overall unemployment in the Kimberley alone running at 7.3 per cent and Indigenous unemployment still at more than 15 per cent Australia-wide, why did the Premier call for all resource companies to be allowed to import unskilled guest workers into Western Australia?
(2) Despite this resources boom, the pool of unskilled jobs is shrinking. Therefore, in light of this and the unemployment statistics I have just reminded the Premier of, is it not irresponsible of him to be recommending importing unskilled workers from overseas?

Mr C.J. BARNETT replied:
(1)–(2) I did not notice the member for Willagee in Singapore when I was there last week. It was a very important visit as this state reorientates itself towards Asia and starts to integrate with Asia. Meanwhile, the rest of Australia stays in a sort of a myopic view of itself and the differences between this state and the rest of the country will become more pronounced.

Mr F.M. Logan: All hail the Emperor!

Mr M.P. Murray: That’s where it’s coming from!

Mr C.J. BARNETT: I will tell you what; we would export you if we had the chance! No country would take you!

Subject: Foreign Unskilled Labour – Premier’s Comments [Legislative Assembly – Questions Without Notice]

Date: 20 March 2012

Hansard reference: p. 858 [online (pdf)]

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