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"The Regions are Begging for Workers"

"The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Old Mar 27th 2019, 1:13 pm
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Default "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nat...8c4e85107b8db3

Very misleading article from The Australian. You have to give it a close read to understand that they define "regions" as anywhere outside Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane/Gold Coast.

With that as context, 60,000 jobs certainly isn't a lot as it includes Adelaide, Perth, Canberra etc.

Certainly the WA regions are not calling out for workers who aren't backpackers, low-paid farmhands or backpacker types. I continually hear government bureaucrats tell us (regional Australians) not to believe our lying eyes, and that the regions are actually full of well-paid employment opportunities. We rubes just live here, but someone in their office made a spreadsheet.

The reason Sydney, Melbourne and Southeast Queensland are growing so fast is precisely because that is where the jobs are - and they get plenty of internal migrants moving there from the regions (precisely because there aren't that many jobs here).



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Old Mar 27th 2019, 8:10 pm
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

The 'regions' have few jobs, mainly low skilled, and they expect to pay less than the going rate (it's cheaper to live here, honest) whereas everyone else expects to be paid more than the going rate for putting up with living in the middle of nowhere, with a lower standard of living.

They would do better investing in fast rail and satellite towns than trying to force skilled migrants to joblessness in Bum****, WA because they can't face facts.
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Old Mar 29th 2019, 2:39 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

The entire regional thing is farcical. Australia has never been able, in the main, to attract skilled workers to the regions, for the simple reason few jobs are available , what professions may be in demand are more 'profitable' in city locations, as well as lifestyle choices not remotely comparable and general lack of openness. Obviously there are exceptions, but the desire to live rural, would more likely suit refugee folk from rural areas of own country. For example the Karen Burmese who have successful formed communities in several farming communities across Australia.
I note Darwin has in last year been the only capital to lose population. It is not simply a matter of plonking incomes in some remote location, but them wanting to remain there.
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Old Mar 29th 2019, 6:10 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

While certain visa approvals will likely insist on a period of rural residence. Then a drift to the cities, more likely the outcome. Meanwhile while official figures may indeed show declining immigration to the cities, those on various forms of working visa's will continue to flood city locations. As on non immigrant visa's will by pass scrutiny. Too many vested interests relying on numbers to advert disaster in real estate especially, regardless of need.
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Old Mar 31st 2019, 12:12 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

The "regions problem" is actually a very easy fix. More $$$$ for workers.

The Government will insist they already do that, but it's misleading. Teachers in Western Australia, for example, do get a bonus for going remote - but it maxes out at just over $1,000 a month and slides down from there depending on where you go. Chump change and not enough in the slightest to convince anyone to move out of Perth. GROH (government regional officer housing) has also gotten expensive and there are a lot of places where it is now cheaper to rent privately than accept the "subsidised" housing offered to you by the Government.

Worse yet there is no incentive for people to actually stay remote or country for more than a year, what you are looking at is not to get people to stay for 20 years but maybe to get them to stay for 5. If you have constant churn and turnover every year that makes things very unstable, almost worse than if you just left the position vacant and had everyone adapt to getting on without it. Teachers for instance used to have the old "transfer point" system where if you did agree to go remote or country they would make sure you got a desirable posting afterwards, but that has been abolished now. If you go remote or country there is absolutely no guarantee you can get out afterwards, and that has been a significant brake on rural applications in that employment sector. It also means that people who are relatively happy are still grabbing opportunities to go to Perth because they don't know when that next opportunity will come, instead of saying "things are ticking over quite nicely right now, I think I'll stay a bit longer."

Don't know what the tipping point would be to get nurses, police, doctors etc to go out but maybe at $3,000 a month in location bonuses you would have some takers, and something like you get to list your top 10 preferred sites for your next posting, and if you stay 5 years you are guaranteed one of the ten.

Let's ask the bureaucrat who made up the spreadsheet why he or she isn't living in Broken Hill or Goondiwindi, and what it would take to get him or her there - and why they think they are an exception and everyone else should take less.

Government won't do that though, it costs time and money and so the current strategy, no bureaucrat wants to be the one to tell their manager that they need to increase salaries, and it appears the strategy is to just throw a temper tantrum in the newspaper and feed friendly newspapers misleading statistics.

Last edited by carcajou; Mar 31st 2019 at 12:18 am.
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Old Mar 31st 2019, 1:51 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
Government won't do that though, it costs time and money and so the current strategy, no bureaucrat wants to be the one to tell their manager that they need to increase salaries, and it appears the strategy is to just throw a temper tantrum in the newspaper and feed friendly newspapers misleading statistics.
A good example is when the beetrooter decided to try and move a government department from Canberra to a rural seat. HIS rural seat.

Despite being blatant, it went ahead - and most in the department swiftly left AND they couldn't recruit at the same level in the new location, even with increasing the salaries. A complete clusterf**k because people wouldn't face facts that people just don't want to live in the middle of nowhere, with none of the services and opportunities they can expect in the cities.

And that was moving from Canberra, not somewhere better like Melbourne or Sydney.

The only way this would have a hope is if there were fast and free transportation links to the cities - which could make satellite towns work.
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Old Mar 31st 2019, 8:52 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Free transportation links while a good idea in many localities, would prove far too expensive for Regional Australia, at least in all but the nearer city locations. But there certainly has to be a 'bribe' of some sort somewhere to get anything of the ground. A few country WA towns have offered 'free' housing or land to build a house on. No idea what, if any take up, as jobs will always remain difficult to come, hardly enough resources to entice retirees to such places (like aged care and fully equipped hospitals) Education lacking for families. Very hard to see just how it would work.
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Old Mar 31st 2019, 9:35 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Yeah. I think GarryP is correct about satellite cities close to the major centres - places like Mandurah, Geelong and Newcastle etc. High-speed rail in the Australian context would work if it could (say) cut travel time down to about 20 minutes from those places to the major city CBDs. Much better idea than to try and connect Brisbane and Melbourne.

The education point is an important one - in the regions Year 11 and 12 often means boarding - a significant expense not taken into account by bureaucrats. Places at quality boarding schools are often locked up years in advance and if you get offered a regional position you want to take when your child is in Year 8 or 9, you might find the child already locked out of a place at a choice school. Education planning in the regions happens almost from birth, I know of one town that is perfectly fine as a place to live in terms of services etc but the high school has such a bad reputation that people plan their job paths years in advance so that they can leave before their child has to attend that school. Poor schooling can really be a drag on local economies in the regions.
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Old Apr 1st 2019, 6:03 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

I certainly don't see satellite cities as being any answer, other than spread the urban sprawl. Probably the thing would be to build up a few existing regional cities, but again been tried before with largely dismal results.
Australia at the end of the day is too big, with too many concentrated in specific city locations to really make any feasible public transport system viable. (apart from satellite cities)
I wonder just where that town is, that carcajou writes about with such a bad high school reputation? I wonder if BSN?
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Old Apr 2nd 2019, 9:55 pm
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Troubadour - no not BSN, though I won't say more - other than that these towns/schools are well known to regional people.
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Old Apr 3rd 2019, 8:31 am
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Default Re: "The Regions are Begging for Workers"

Originally Posted by carcajou View Post
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nat...8c4e85107b8db3

Very misleading article from The Australian. You have to give it a close read to understand that they define "regions" as anywhere outside Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane/Gold Coast.

With that as context, 60,000 jobs certainly isn't a lot as it includes Adelaide, Perth, Canberra etc.

Certainly the WA regions are not calling out for workers who aren't backpackers, low-paid farmhands or backpacker types. I continually hear government bureaucrats tell us (regional Australians) not to believe our lying eyes, and that the regions are actually full of well-paid employment opportunities. We rubes just live here, but someone in their office made a spreadsheet.

The reason Sydney, Melbourne and Southeast Queensland are growing so fast is precisely because that is where the jobs are - and they get plenty of internal migrants moving there from the regions (precisely because there aren't that many jobs here).
Yes, jobs for starters like in any regional place in the world, but cities also offer variety. You often here the youth of regional places (all over the world) saying their town is boring and they can't wait to leave.

It's been mentioned that satellite cities could do with better transport connections to the bigger smokers. Absolutely however not as easy to do as in the UK or other parts of Europe where distances are close.

The feds have mentioned this exact thing in the latest budget. It's also on the NSW Infrastructure plan for a Newcastle Wollongong fast connection to Sydney, however completely new corridors through rough terrain needs to be created and that is no easy nor cheap thing to do.
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