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Issue 004 | Winter 2013

Fuelling Australian Employment ExxonMobil HR boss Ulysses Yiannis

Fortescue Metals Connecting with Indigenous communities

Crocodile Gold claims its Territory Downer Mining recruitment feature Discover the Power of Engineering PLUS Perilya T&D, Bechtel leadership, Intertek robotics, IR changes under fire


of the mining workforce in Australia are women. of which:


are technicians and trades workers,

6.6% are labourers,


are machinery operators and drivers

The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is a national initiative delivered by the Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA), and partially funded by the Australian Government. AWRA’s objective is to increase the number of workers in the resource, allied and construction industries through the greater attraction and retention of women. The AWRA initiative has connected with over 120 resource and related industry organisations, industry bodies and women’s networking groups from across Australia. AWRA is eager to help industry realise the productivity, quality and safety dividends that a more gender diverse workforce has been shown to deliver.

Connect with AWRA


AWRA and AWRA e-Mentoring is proudly supported by

The AWRA e-Mentoring Program Support women in the resource industry

The AWRA e-Mentoring Program is a practical way to encourage the participation and advancement of women in the resource, allied and construction industries in Australia where remote location and complex rosters are a barrier to participating in traditional mentoring programs. Participants in the program communicate with each other through an online platform as well as email, chat, Skype and phone. Expert advice and guidance is provided along the way to ensure participants get the most from the experience. Sign up to be a mentor today and assist a woman to reach her full potential while also developing professional and personally. The AWRA e-Mentoring program needs experienced men and women in the industry to share their knowledge with mentees. The AWRA e-Mentoring Program is delivered by AMMA and funded by the Australian Government through the National Resources Sector Workforce Strategy. Register Today




CONTENTS REGULARS 04 | From the Editor 05 | Chief Executive’s Message 17 | 5 Minutes with Dan Devlin 54 | Events Calendar 56 | Business Partner Directory RECRUITMENT


06 | No downer in improved quality of hire 08 | Resource career to rock student’s world 10 | Who’s championing HR execution? 12 | Workforce planning for the bigger picture MEMBER FEATURE 14 | Fortescue’s investment in Pilbara’s people LEADERSHIP 18 | Nation building tasks ahead 19 | Gray’s vision for Australian resources 19 | Skills initiative unites industry leaders 20 | Redpath paves way for breast cancer awareness 21 | Building Bechtel’s first line leaders POLICY 22 | Union entry to remote sites blasted 23 | Keep the bullies where they belong 23 | Industry hits government for six


24 | Workplace focus key to productivity challenge 25 | Policy at a glance MIGRATION 26 | Don’t politicise importance of skilled migration, says AMMA 26 | 457 Visa rhetoric doesn’t match the facts 27 | DIAC streamlines visitor visas COVER STORY 28 | ExxonMobil: Fuelling Australia for the long haul Cover image: Igor Sapina Photography Published by Third Sector Services, Great Southern Press Pty Ltd. +61 3 9248 5100 | Winter 2013 |





DIVERSITY 32 | Indigenous engagement for a competitive edge 34 | Young engineer empowers the next generation OHS & WELLBEING 36 | ConocoPhillips donates to East Timor health outcomes 36 | Employer wins latest drug testing ruling 38 | Mates helping mates in suicide prevention TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT 40 | Training partnership boosts Perilya skills 41 | Training for Australia’s resources future


42 | Owning career development INNOVATION 44 | Smart access to asset protection 46 | Lab robotics catalyst for new skills ECONOMY 48 | Keeping the project pipeline flowing 49 | AMC celebrates 10 years of local content 49 | Chevron signs Wheatstone LNG agreements 49 | Premier opens Evolution’s Mt Carlton mine 50 | Crocodile Gold claims its Territory 52 | KPMG discredits negative FIFO discourse 52 | RBA reframes resource employment outlook

Issue 004 | Winter 2013

Fuelling Australian Employment ExxonMobil HR boss Ulysses Yiannis


Fortescue Metals Connecting with Indigenous communities

Crocodile Gold claims its Territory Downer Mining recruitment feature Discover the Power of Engineering PLUS Perilya T&D, Bechtel leadership, Intertek robotics, IR changes under fire

Editor | Tom Reid Advertising | Tara Diamond

AMMA Contacts 1800 627 771 |

| Winter 2013 |



From the Editor IN OUR COVER story for this edition of Resource People, Ulysses Yiannis emphasises that every decision made by ExxonMobil Australia is done so with the ‘long-term’ at front of mind. Not only does this vision ensure Australia’s oldest oil and gas company is developing new assets that will remain profitable and sustainable for 30 or 40 years, but also includes everything from its corporate social responsibility and community engagement to workforce practices and career development – the latter Yiannis’ passion as Asia Pacific South HR manager. With the construction of the Bass Strait’s $4.4 billion Kipper Tuna Turrum project nearing completion and the company exploring options to develop the enormous Scarborough gas field offshore WA, our ExxonMobil article is a timely reminder that Australia’s top tier resource employers are as focused on looking after their people as they are operational excellence. This ‘long-term’ theme is prevalent throughout our Winter 2013 edition as we explore Fortescue Metals Group’s $1 billion commitment to the sustainability and development of Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara. The policy and leadership content of this issue also follows a similar focus on sustainability, as political and economic commentators continue to discuss Australia’s competitiveness, productivity and cost-positioning within a global marketplace. |Winter 2013 |

As explained in Economy, these matters are critical to the ongoing prosperity of Australia’s offshore oil and gas operations as AMMA negotiates a range of workplace agreements in the sector as the year progresses. AMMA’s new productivity discussion paper is also explored as is our position on the latest changes to Australia’s workplace laws, including the impacts of facilitating union officials’ site access to remote and offshore resource industry operations. Outside the policy arena this magazine continues to highlight the innovation and success within AMMA’s membership base. In recruitment you’ll find Downer Mining’s focus on quality of hire and applying the ‘Six Sigma’ project management techniques has yielded great success in its hiring and retaining activities. Our Economy feature with Crocodile Gold explores how the minerals miner is prospering in the Northern Territory’s rapidly developing resource sector. In Diversity we learn about the Power of Engineering, Innovation covers Intertek’s new technology, while Training focuses on Perilya’s efforts to develop its leaders with the expert help of AMMA’s T&D team. Winter 2013 marks the one-year anniversary of Resource People and once again, the range of fantastic stories in this publication reflects the depth and success of our industry. Please enjoy.



Chief Executive’s Message THIS EDITION OF Resource People coincides with AMMA’s threeday National Conference; our annual opportunity to promote and engage with the leadership and innovation displayed by Australia’s resource industry as we valuably contribute to our national well-being. The breadth of representation across industry sub-sectors and professional disciplines that come together at our conference to collaborate on workforce and operational solutions is truly astounding and continues to grow annually. This united vision for a stronger Australian business landscape continues to see our members prosper in the face of ongoing challenges in both our immediate operating environments and the uncertain financial conditions still lingering on a global scale. Throughout this magazine we explore many of these challenges, including Australia’s declining international competitiveness, lagging productivity, a lack of leadership from our federal policy-makers, and the divisive and untruthful campaign being waged against temporary skilled migration. But more importantly, there remains a virtually endless stream of success stories across our members’ daily activities that resonate within the pages of this AMMA publication. When much of the external focus on Australia’s mining, oil and gas projects remains on whether the industry is ‘paying its due’, Resource People is yet another AMMA product that proudly demonstrates and promotes the current contribution of the resource industry to making Australia a better place to work and a better place to live. As the year moves on it has been very encouraging to see signs of a wider recognition of the true extent of the benefits this nation receives from a strong resource industry. While our employers are always striving for more responsible ways of operating and better connections with the community, the vitriol against our sector that emerged from some quarters towards the end of 2012 has been largely offset by the facts. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) played its part in demonstrating the full extent of our industry’s contribution to Australia’s economic and employment well-being, with its Industry Dimensions of the Resource Boom research paper released earlier in the year.


Highlighting just how beneficial a strong resource industry is for long-term employment, the RBA’s findings include that the ‘resource economy’ accounts for 1.1 million Australian jobs or 9.75% of total employment; as well as 18% of Australia’s gross value add – or approx $250 billion of the nation’s annual output. Clearly, it is in our national interest to be developing more effective policies to sustain these benefits, not stifling the growth of the resource industry through heavy taxation and increased red-tape. By the time the next Resource People hits your desks Australia should have decided which political party is best placed to lead our nation into the next era of our economic and political history. Whether it be an ALP or Coalition Government, AMMA will continue to urge our policy makers to end the treatment of Australia’s resources investment as a temporary ‘boom’ to be harvested. Rather, we look forward to the next Australian Government working cooperatively with industry to foster long-term sustainability. This requires a focus on ensuring our country’s productivity performance can catch up with and be better than our international competitors, instead of lagging behind. In addition to the 1.1 million jobs the RBA credits to the industry, resource employers are forecast to contribute $209 billion of export earnings to our economy in the 2013 financial year. However as we have recently seen with the Browse decision and many more before that, major projects are not guaranteed to come to market in Australia. At least a further 277 projects worth a combined value of $383bn are under consideration, but not fully confirmed. Securing these projects relies on investors having confidence in doing business in this country. This is the critical for our industry and the policy-makers who govern it. The stories within these pages instil great confidence in Australian resource employers’ ability to innovate and lead the world in workforce practices – whether it is Fortescue’s Indigenous policies, the quality of Downer Mining’s people, Crocodile Gold’s success in the Northern Territory, or ExxonMobil Australia’s focus on nurturing its talent through rewarding 30-year careers. If Australia’s political leadership and policy foundation for investment, productivity, competitiveness and employment can match the same benchmarks – the future for our industry and indeed all business sectors will remain bright.


| Winter 2013 |



No downer in IMPROVED QUALITY OF HIRE Taking a project management approach to quality of hire is not only boosting Downer Mining’s talent retention and workplace culture, but is saving the company big dollars on the bottom line. AS ONE OF the world’s leading mine contracting companies, the quality of Downer Mining’s people is absolutely critical to its success. Managing more than 5,000 employees across 50 sites within a fully diversified portfolio of services, Downer Mining’s HR team is often recognised for recruitment excellence by organisations including the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI). However, as a former project specialist, the company’s recruitment manager Clare Hudson is driven to find more efficient, cost-effective and ultimately, innovative ways of operating. Over the last two years her team’s focus has been on quality of hire and, while the concept is not necessarily new to HR insiders, attaching the ‘Six Sigma’ project management framework to Downer Mining’s entire recruitment cycle is cutting-edge. “Within Downer Mining’s HR department I have really focused my team to develop a project-driven environment,” says Hudson, speaking to Resource People from the company’s Brisbane head office. “As a mine contracting organisation we have peaks and troughs of recruitment and during those peak cycles where the recruitment function is operating at maximum capacity, previous statistics show your quality of hire and organisational value fit is negatively impacted. “We needed to ensure that even during those peak times quality of hire was not affected. Being project managementfocused we approach this from the Six Sigma strategy framework, which many business people will know originated from manufacturing efficiency. “Applying this to recruitment is a little unusual, but it allows you to focus on the wider management process and organisational benefits. Rather than getting tied down with isolated recruitment areas or particular sourcing strategies and selection tools, it encompasses the broader picture.” There are a number of qualitative and quantitative metrics to gauge an organisation’s quality of hire – ranging from the percentage of new recruits to pass the probationary period to satisfaction feedback from hiring managers. DEMONSTRATING SAVINGS The challenge for many recruitment specialists is to demonstrate the true value of HR innovation to senior executives who are often driven by the bottom line. According to Hudson, this is not an issue for Dower Mining. “While we have significantly increased the percentage of | Winter 2013 |

Applying the Six Sigma management framework to recruitment is a little unusual, but allows you to focus on the wider management process and organisational benefits.

CLARE HUDSON RECRUITMENT MANAGER DOWNER MINING. recruits who pass the probationary mark, which is a common metric for quality of hire, we are also demonstrating financial savings,” she says. “There are three different costs involved; the first is the cost to recruit, then the cost in bringing somebody onboard. The final is estimating the true cost of replacing somebody within the organisation in terms of all the IP, training and everything that has been invested in that person. “Through a process of properly costing these elements we can identify that the total financial savings for Downer Mining in increasing the percentage of people reaching their probationary period will easily run into the millions for the year. “It is key to make note however that even though we have



in the percentage of employees retained in the short term and therefore a considerable saving in costs.” Hudson says this ‘is not a one-size-fits-all’ process, with different methods of assessment including behavioural based interviews, references, psychometric assessment or even observed activities such as team building or problem solving being applied appropriately not across the board.

Downer Mining is committed to a gender diverse workforce.

An exciting range of projects are on offer at Downer Mining.

invested greatly in improving Downer Mining’s recruitment processes and quality of hire, the time to fill the roles has not significantly increased. “This means we are improving Downer Mining’s people capacity with no impact on those savings due to little downtime. “This success amongst an increased confidence in the function is driving a wide recognition within Downer Mining that the recruitment function operates more as consultants to the wider business rather than transactional recruiters.”

PROJECT PROCESS Hudson’s philosophy to improve recruitment processes and quality of hire is to address core issues like criteria-fit, experience and qualifications with an efficiency-driven project management focus. “We approached quality of hire from a Six Sigma approach with the focusing problem being that the quality of hire was not consistent or at a level that we as a business felt was acceptable,” she says. “This then enabled us to drill down to the real root causes of the problem, such as skills gaps, poor communication, system inefficiency or lack of process. “We then identified solutions to the root causes, implemented the solutions and were able to clearly demonstrate an increase

DOWNER MINING CULTURE While the first step in Downer Mining’s quality of hire process is to ensure a clear understanding of the role criteria and competencies, just as crucial is a thorough understanding of organisational culture and values, namely: Zero Harm; integrity and ethical behaviour; cooperation and teamwork; value creation and client relationships; our people are our advantage; and innovation. “We have truly embedded our values through the recruitment process and throughout the entire employment cycle,” she says. “In sourcing and selection, all of our templates and external advertising clearly display that ‘our people are our advantage’. “When it comes to selection, candidates have behavioural questions that are based on our values and identifying these qualities in their general lives.” The next step of Hudson’s project is to develop a bespoke online values assessment, similar to the existing online ‘Safety and dependability’ assessment. This cultural alignment doesn’t stop with new recruits for Downer Mining’s contracting services – the company’s HR team also operates firmly by these corporate values. “Our work is all about increasing the quality of hire, talent retention and value fit to Downer Mining as an organisation,” says Hudson. “The cultural aspect of this hasn’t been difficult because the whole recruitment team was also hired based on these value indicators. “So we demonstrate the same Downer Mining values that we are looking for in new people to join the organisation. Coupled with our precise and rigorous recruitment processes, this focus on quality of hire is making a real contribution to Downer Mining’s success.”

DOWNER MINING QUICK FACTS • Delivering contract mining and civil earthmoving for over 90 years • Annual turnover of $2.4bn with $6.2bn workin-hand • Directly employs over 5,000 people • Operating at more than 50 sites in Australia, NZ, PNG, South America and Southern Africa • Clients include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group, Idemitsu Australia Resources and Ok Tedi Mining.

| Winter 2013 |



Resource career to ROCK STUDENT’S WORLD Amy Hoppenbrouwers is an ambitious student who represents a new generation of budding Australian geologists. She spoke to Resource People about the opportunities she hopes to discover in a resources career. APPROACHING THE COMPLETION of a Bachelor of Science majoring in applied geology, Curtin University student Amy Hoppenbrouwers remembers what first piqued her interest in profession. “I was working as a laboratory assistant in a minerals lab and soon AMY became interested in the elements being HOPPENanalysed,” says Hoppenbrouwers. BROUWERS “I wondered where the samples came from and how people in the field knew where to collect them. Before I knew it, I was enrolled in university.” It was during practical field trips as part of the course program where her passion for the profession was quickly confirmed. “I find hands-on learning is the best way to consolidate ideas in such a practical field like geology,” she says. “Through field trips we train to identify rocks and minerals and gain experience in mapping sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks to piece together the history of the area and better understand the formation of the earth. “I find this link between the land today and what our planet may have been like in the past to be one of the most interesting aspects of geology.” Securing some ‘real world’ work experience among geologists in remote Western Australia during the summer of 2012-13 cemented Hoppenbrouwers’ desire for a career within the resource industry. “I was given the opportunity to work for Cliffs Natural Resources in a three month vacation program,” she says. “I worked fly-in, fly-out to the Cliffs site in Windarling, 135km north of Southern Cross and got to experience the day-to-day life of a mine geologist. “As part of the program I was given my own project; to complete a pit map and present it to the geology team.” While the 22-year-old is excited to learn about the range of promising graduate programs offered by some of Australia’s leading resource companies, she wants her first career move to be the right one and is ‘keeping an open mind’ when researching the industry and its variety of work arrangements. “I attended the Curtin Careers Fair where I was able to meet recent graduates from multiple companies and discuss what their graduate program is like,” she says. “I collected pamphlets from all mining companies at the career fair so I could apply online for graduate programs starting in 2014. | Winter 2013 |

“The idea of working fly-in, fly-out as a full time job is quite daunting, although once settled in to the new village and team it should be easy to adapt to the environment.” Although she hasn’t pinpointed a particular company she wants to work for, Hoppenbrouwers can describe her ideal work environment. “I would enjoy working for a company which offers a variety of workplace experiences to expand my skills across a number of areas,” she says. “Working for a consulting company would be exciting as you get the opportunity to work at different sites, in different fields and with different people. It would also be nice to be based in Perth but have the chance to experience different environments.” The past decade has seen an extraordinary period of investment in Australia’s resource industry and Amy Hoppenbrouwers represents a new generation of ambitious young professionals who completed their training amid the sector’s ‘boom’. Recruiters will be hoping heightened interest in the industry’s prosperity will generate many more.

A geothermal analyst examines a heat sensor.

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At Big Sky we’ve been providing a wide range of benefits to companies and their employees within the resource industry for more than 40 years. We can help you with a myriad of services headlined by our banking, financial advice and insurance offerings. We’re currently working with AMMA, AWRA and many of their member companies to develop tailored solutions to meet each of their needs. If you’d like a no obligation assessment of your company’s workforce wellbeing, contact us today. Proudly supported by

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Approaches to communication

Figure 1: Typical stages of remuneration review.

Who’s championing HR execution? Aon Hewitt’s head of reward advisory Michelle Reynolds says HR excellence is simply about ‘doing the basic people management things extremely well’. In this lesson, she explores best practice and how to manage your remuneration review. THE INCREASING FOCUS on strategic human resources and operational efficiency means the concept of HR delivery as an end-to-end process gets little airplay. Aon Hewitt believes some of the basic principles of effective people management can be lost in large, multi-dimensional and matrixed organisations as senior HR managers often conceive strategies that other divisions execute. “Winston Churchill once famously said ‘however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results’,” says head of reward advisory Michelle Reynolds. “If there is no clear link between the ‘why’ of policy development and the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of process implementation, organisations can develop an alarming gap between strategic intent and actual outcomes.” Aon Hewitt research demonstrates the importance of excellence in human resource service delivery, with ‘doing the basics around people management extremely well’ featuring as one of the three hallmark behaviours of organisations who improve engagement. “It’s not innovative and it’s not sexy – but it is effective in improving employee engagement and business performance,” says Reynolds. “A great example of what excellence in HR execution should look like in practice is an effective remuneration review process. “Aon Hewitt estimates that upwards of $3.5 billion is invested, | Winter 2013 |


RECRUITMENT resource sector-wide, through this process each year. It therefore makes sense to approach this as an ongoing investment cycle rather than a one-time, tactical project. “Yet so often we find organisations building their remuneration review processes around project plans and systems-linked activities.” Aon Hewitt believes these activities are simply the enablers of the process – which should primarily be about clearly communicated people management outcomes aligned with the organisation’s business needs. As explained by Reynolds, the HR consultancy firm’s Managing the Remuneration Review training program identifies five key focuses for strong remuneration execution:

1. A CLEAR, EXECUTABLE REMUNERATION PHILOSOPHY ALIGNED WITH BUSINESS STRATEGY “It’s hard to implement something that’s not well understood,” says Reynolds. “Your remuneration philosophy should be a few key principles that explain the role of pay in the employment ‘deal’ for your workforce. Your philosophy might simply outline your competitive standing, how much pay can vary and the intended relationship between pay and performance in your organisation. Avoid nonspecific statements that are difficult to execute against.” 2. EMPLOYEE-CENTRICITY “In some respects HR has been slow to embrace the ‘customer-centric’ model increasingly pursued in business. While the majority of the remuneration review takes place away from


employees, the last step – communication – accounts for a high proportion of the success of the process. Aon Hewitt research shows that it is more important to communicate pay well than it is to pay highly, in terms of driving employees’ perceptions of pay as well as overall engagement.”

3. INVESTMENT IN FRONT-LINE MANAGER CAPABILITY “For remuneration review and other core HR processes, a significant portion of delivery lies with the direct managers of employees. Managers that are well-educated in the organisation’s intent and confident at communicating it are a critical success factor for HR execution.” 4. WELL THOUGHT THROUGH DECISION-SUPPORT DATA AND TOOLS “These are often the link between the organisation’s intent and front-line manager execution. Pre-populated recommendations and insightful reporting and analysis can be effective in guiding managers according to the organisation’s pay philosophy. Systems and tools should make it easier, not harder, for managers to make decisions that align with the organisation’s view.” 5. A CONTINUAL PROCESS NOT ONE-OFF PROJECT “Treating remuneration review as a project assumes that business context and performance are static – which we know is untrue. Post-implementation reviews that focus on tactical outcomes should be broadened into measures of the ongoing effectiveness of the remuneration strategy and how the organisation is executing against it.”

Training course:

Managing the remuneration review

Aon Hewitt offers a 10% discount on remuneration training to all AMMA members Contact us on +61 2 9253 7100 or email

| Winter 2013 |



Workforce planning for the


Challenges in sourcing and retaining talented workers between project schedules may come with the territory, but as Resource People discovered, an industry approach to workforce planning could spell the end of the resources recruitment conundrum. KENTZ ENGINEERS AND Constructors’ Shane Barnfield has been in the recruitment business for long enough to develop a vision for an improved method. But the regional recruitment manager accepts it won’t be easy – his grand plan requires a fundamental shift in how the resource and construction industries think about workforce planning. “As a project driven organisation, Kentz relies on its ability to accurately forecast and move personnel from one project to another, efficiently,” he says. “The biggest constraint to traditional workforce planning is that an organisation can only make plans based on the resources they already have. “No matter how large your organisation is, by limiting your planning to this narrow view, you will never be as effective as if you had a greater pool of resources to call on.” While seeking improvements in the engineering specialist provider’s own recruitment processes, Barnfield discovered that an industry-wide approach to workforce planning could see the national industry greatly improve employee retention and labour sourcing between projects. Developed alongside friend Stan Rolfe, resourcing manager at Decmil Australia, the model proposes information on employee and candidate capability could be shared among organisations that choose to ‘opt-in’. “Organisations could alert one another when quality people resources become available from projects and are unable to be internally redeployed,” explains Barnfield. “These employees could then be approached for alternative opportunities, thus ensuring continuity of their employment.” Describing a practical scenario, Barnfield says the model would enable a worker to remain employed with the one organisation, even when the company does not have available work at the immediate time. Through the industry-wide workforce planning model, the employee could be outsourced to another company in need of their skills, for an agreed period of time. While he admits the logistics of seconding employees out to other organisations require fine-tuning, especially when employees are covered by different industrial agreements, Barnfield believes the benefits to both the employee and retaining organisation could be immense. “Think continuity of employment, broadening of skills and experience,” he says. “The biggest obstacle is changing the mindset of organisations and the willingness to share candidate data. But with the rise in social media and professional networking, it is a | Winter 2013 |

naive organisation that believes it is the only one that has access to employee and candidate data.” When asked why such a tool was not already operational in the industry, Barnfield believes workforce planning is significantly underutilised by many organisations and he can understand why. “There is not a great deal of effective workforce planning tools in the marketplace and the skills and effort required to maintain a database is great,” he says. “I know of numerous instances where organisations have invested significant amounts of time and money to develop the initial workforce planning database only for it to become redundant very quickly due to a lack of maintenance. “Developing an effective, industry-wide workforce planning tool will create a significant increase in the pool of potential candidates that organisations can call on when planning for future requirements.” Barnfield admits that with the model still in the conceptual stage, there are a number of factors that need consideration for it to become workable. However, the recruitment specialist is looking forward to putting his theory into practice. “I believe that there are demonstrable advantages to both candidates and employers in our model,” he says. “Given Kentz’s involvement in potential joint venture projects, I hope to initiate a model that could be trialled between us and one of our JV partners.”



Port operator Donald McKenzie in the Port Central Control Room.


FORTESCUE’S INVESTMENT IN PILBARA’S PEOPLE A number of integrated Indigenous participation programs are seeing Fortescue Metals Group contribute greatly to the development of Aboriginal communities in the Pilbara. In this Member Feature, new director of external relations Isak Buitendag speaks to Resource People about the iron ore major’s investment in social responsibility. IT WAS A refreshing lack of internal bureaucracy and a culture of empowerment that first attracted Isak Buitendag to the Australian-owned Fortescue Metals Group. This approach serves him well in his newest role with the company where he manages the delicate balance of corporate affairs, culture, environment and Aboriginal engagement at FMG’s Western Australian iron-ore operations in the heart of the Pilbara. “I believe in taking a very grass roots approach to external relations and just making sure that we have direct and honest conversations with our communities and with all stakeholders to hopefully achieve alignment of our interests,” says Buitendag. A relatively young company, construction of Fortescue’s initial mine rail and port project commenced in 2006. Just two years later, with the first China-bound shipment from its flagship Cloudbreak mine located 256km south of Port Hedland in the Chichester Hub, Fortescue positioned itself at the forefront of the international iron ore market. | Winter 2013 |




Expansion of the Chichester Hub to include the Christmas Creek mine and development of the Soloman Hub 120 kilometres west will see Fortescue produce iron ore at a rate of 155 million tonnes per year by the end of 2013, reinforcing its position as the fourth largest iron ore producer in the world. This exceptional growth, however, has not deterred Fortescue from the core values instilled by its philanthropic chairman Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest. The company is a shining example of how the resource industry can foster mutually beneficial partnerships with local communities and Buitendag says corporate social responsibility remains central to its success. “We’re growing into a large company, evidenced by the fact that this year our balance sheet provision for caring for the environment, our tax and royalty payments and our commitments to the socio-economic advancement of Aboriginal people will each be in excess of $1 billion,” he says. “So, given those big numbers, we need to continue to work hard at retaining a ‘small company feel’ about us and that applies to the way in which we deal with both internal and external stakeholders. It creates a real personal bond between us and our communities.”

BUILDING INDIGENOUS PARTICIPATION Fortescue has approached its responsibilities to local communities with a belief that improving the lives of the Pilbara’s Indigenous people comes through workforce and economic participation, rather than monetary handouts. This philosophy is reflected in its ‘Billion Opportunities’ commitment to award $1 billion to Aboriginal contractors by the end of 2013. The program is well on-track with $618 million awarded to date. “The Pilbara will sustain major wealth generation for Australians for hundreds of years. If that is to be maintained then the Pilbara can and must host long term, fully sustainable and high quality living communities,” says Buitendag. “We are conscious that it is only through providing training, employment and business opportunity for Aboriginal people that we can hope to end the socio-economic disparity they suffer. “As of December 2012, 11.2% of our workforce and around 10% of our contractors’ workforces were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. In Port Hedland alone, 26% of our workforce is Aboriginal. “To put that into perspective, the entire Commonwealth public service has a target in single digits for the period to 2015, so we believe we really are contributing above our weight.” More than 1000 Indigenous people have participated in Fortescue’s Vocational Training and Employment (VTEC) Program which has been in place throughout the life of the company and leads to guaranteed employment. Buitendag says the secret to Indigenous employment is taking a holistic approach and addressing blockages to the success of potential recruits. “It might be getting a temporary drivers’ licence to addressing health issues, substance abuse or domestic situations,” he says. “I recently met a young woman who is going through the program a second time, this time to qualify as an operator at our Cloudbreak mine. Her life has changed 180 degrees from where she was a few years ago. “We never, ever give up on people.”

Fortescue locomotive operator Alfie Farrell.

INVESTING IN CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP It is Fortescue’s aspiration to be a ‘corporate citizen of choice’ that Buitendag says has seen it welcomed by the communities in which it operates. Investment in housing and health programs are breaking down barriers and allowing Indigenous communities to flourish. Recently, the company pledged support for the Close the Gap campaign which is bringing government, business, health organisations and Indigenous communities to the table to achieve Indigenous health equality by 2030. “Fortescue’s Aboriginal Health and Wellness Program taps into a number of existing health services offered by local organisations and providers. The partnerships that we’ve developed with these providers are key to the success of our program,” he says. “And when an Aboriginal person gets a job with Fortescue in the Pilbara, they get a house. We offer rental properties, but also the opportunity for Aboriginal employees to buy their own home through a Fortescue program. “We aim to enhance communities, behave with respect and care for people and the environment, take broad responsibility for the effects of our presence and do what we say we will do.”»

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I believe in taking a very grass roots approach to external relations and just making sure that we have direct and honest conversations with our communities and with all stakeholders to hopefully achieve alignment of our interests. ISAK BUITENDAG.

NAVIGATING LEGAL BARRIERS With Aboriginal heritage dating back more than 40,000 years, the identification and management of culturally important sites is fundamental to Fortescue’s approach to sustainable operations. However, the company has not been free from some difficulties with negotiations over native title access, most recently to its Solomon Mine. When asked the company’s views on legislation around environment and native title issues, Buitendag says it would welcome a returned focus on the original intentions of each legislative area. “We undertake comprehensive stakeholder identification and engagement for any new projects and we continually engage through the life of our operations with affected stakeholders,” he says. “It was never the intent that the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act would duplicate state assessments provided Australia’s international obligations were considered, but regulatory creep has had the effect of adding another stifling layer and it needs to be addressed. “In Native Title, again the evidence shows that Aboriginal people and resource companies are very capable of negotiating win-win agreements without reliance on the courts. “But on those rare occasions when agreement cannot be

reached, the courts have proven quite capable of making rulings as to whether negotiations have been conducted in good faith. “More regulation is not the answer in this case to improving outcomes.”

A BRIGHT FUTURE If it can continue to follow its blueprint for success, the future expansion of its mine, rail and port projects coupled with a growing demand from emerging Asian markets, promises a bright future for Fortescue. “At the end of the day, this business is very simple. We need to extract resources in a way that is environmentally sustainable, manages and mitigates any social impacts or social risks, is globally competitive from a cost standpoint and profitable for our investors,” says Buitendag. “If we fail in any of these areas, we don’t have a sustainable business. So my idea of partnering with the community is to be very straightforward, we cannot promise the earth and we have to work to earn trusted partnerships. But we will be honest and we will make targeted community investments where there is a clear mutual benefit.” Remaining committed to its corporate and social values will certainly pave the way for the region’s future generations to benefit from this economic and employment growth.

ISAK BUITENDAG ON… The Fortescue culture: “Culture is the key to our ability to achieve the stretch targets we set each other. Elite athletes can only produce their best performance if they have really been challenged in their training and we take a similar approach. I believe it creates a sense of more than empowerment, indeed a sense of proprietorship is what I see across our business. The FIFO debate: “There is shallowness in the national debate that we can only try and counter by being open and transparent and educate media and decision makers. We certainly appreciate the role AMMA and other industry associations play in doing this. We have committed to a residential workforce at Port Hedland but even then we need to supplement the workforce with FIFO. Our eight and six roster is very family friendly and it is a lifestyle choice for many people. Challenging the MRRT: “We simply believe that the mining tax breaches the constitution and we don’t believe in sitting by and leaving bad legislation stand unchallenged when it could stifle the next Fortescue from emerging in our industry or be amended to be more punitive. While we are not paying MRRT, we are paying more than $1 billion in taxes and royalty this year. This is income governments simply did not have five years ago, so all Australians are sharing in our success.” | Winter 2013 |



5 minutes with...

AMMA’s Dan Devlin, Director of Business Development & Membership I’ve worked in or with industry organisations for: Over 9 years on and off which gives me some unique insights into how we focus and mobilise members to achieve great outcomes. For me, the resource industry represents: A great opportunity to work DAN in the sector that is driving growth and DEVLIN success in the Australian economy. My work with AMMA involves: Engaging with our members nationally to understand their needs and ensure AMMA is delivering services that are valued. The thing I love about my job is: Working with people who are passionate about what they do, both within our organisation and throughout our membership. The greatest challenge of my work is: Cutting through the daily pressures and priorities as we seek to improve and enhance our performance in a way that delivers great member experiences. My colleagues think I am: To coin an Irish term, “Good Craic” AMMA_AssetlinkServices_12042013.pdf 1 16/04/13 3:49 PM (good fun).

You wouldn’t know it but: Unbeknown to me at the time (or any of my fellow tourists for that matter) I was part of the first European team to tour and play in the 1995 Las Vegas Sevens rugby tournament. I would be happy to share the full story over a beer. My alternate career choice would be: At school I was a member of the dramatic society playing leading roles in three Shakespearean productions so I was always drawn to a career treading the boards. If I could be anywhere else in the world it would be: In my family home in Bangor, Northern Ireland on a cold sunny winters day with the fire lit as I look out across the Belfast Lough. A magical scene. I couldn’t live without: My wife Alison and my 16-month-old twins Jack and Evey. I’m inspired by: Stories of triumph in adversity. The perfect meal is: Salt and pepper squid followed by a medium rare fillet steak washed down with a nice Pinot Noir or Shiraz (I’m always open to offers). I would spend my last $100 on: A bottle of fine wine for my wife and I to share as we contemplate life’s mysteries.










YOU Linking people, places and processes SYDNEY







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Nation building tasks ahead The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) is the nation’s peak council of business organisations and AMMA is a key member of its powerful network. Here, ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson explains why ‘less is more’ is the best approach for the next Australian Government to grow the economy. WHEN BOILED DOWN, the task of government, especially the next Australian government, is to responsibly manage its affairs including spending, taxing and essential services, and to create the right framework for the economy to grow. The private sector neither wants, nor PETER expects, government to do anything and ANDERSON everything. Government doesn’t have the money to do everything demanded of it, and even if it did, that wouldn’t create the right framework for growth in the economy or living standards. Big budget deficits, overregulation, overtaxing and government getting in the middle of commercial transactions, project agreements and even employer/employee relationships, is part of the problem. When it comes to the next Australian Government, less is more. The private sector is telling the next Australian Government that private enterprise wants to shoulder a bigger responsibility for economic growth and investment, but the regulatory instincts of government and the public service need to give ground. A strong reform effort is required to reach this point, because decades of overregulation need to be unwound, excessive taxes dumped or pared back, and workplace regulation made to work in the real economy. I don’t think there is any doubt that priorities fall into four categories: regulation reform, employment reform, tax reform and better infrastructure. The current level of regulation and intervention is at a high water-mark in Australia’s modern history. Major project development is a good example that bedevils larger companies and investors, but even small companies and contractors in the supply chain feel that they are ‘too big to ignore’ - in the words of ACCI’s small business campaign for 2013. Last April, the Prime Minister promised COAG’s Business Advisory forum a single track process for major project environmental assessment between the Commonwealth and states. In November however, after 72 hours of public protest by green groups the plan was shelved. Lifting business confidence and foreign and domestic investment is crucial to economic growth, and this can only come from economic and regulatory reform. Better certainty around project development and lower sovereign risk must be a key goal. | Winter 2013 |

Another self-imposed regulation holding back exporters is the government’s new rule that it will not allow trade agreements to include clauses exposing the state to legal action if they breach basic property or contract rights. Stubbornness on this point is blocking trade agreements with Korea and Japan, costing our private economy millions. Tax reform needs to reduce tax burdens so the private sector can grow and invest. Government should fund its services from a growing economy, not higher taxes. This requires a rootand-branch review of government spending. Taxes also need to support competitiveness and incentives to work and be productive, not the other way around. A carbon tax that isn’t borne by our major trading partners and can’t achieve its objective without global agreement made no sense to ACCI from day one, and should go. But other taxes must also be restructured, and the Henry Tax Review sitting on the shelf is a good starting point. Workplace overregulation has definitely worked against fairness and efficiency. Excessive union rights of entry have led to demarcations and disputes where management, staff and contractors had been largely dispute-free. Union bargaining powers ratcheted up wages in the resource industry to world’s highest, without giving ground on productivity. Unions have a monopoly over greenfield agreements, adding to project risk and cost. The industrial tribunal has been stacked and there are plans for a stacked tribunal to have new arbitration powers. The Fair Work Act is anything but fair, and the right changes will definitely boost investor confidence. Fixing that is urgent. Finally, infrastructure. This is an area where the private and public sector need to work together. Both physical and human capital need renewal. Road, rail, ports, logistics and skills are top priorities. This requires long term plans, and using public money for the long term. We won’t get better infrastructure on the other side of the election if the pre-election period leads to big spending promises on the wrong things. It will be far better if the Federal Government and Opposition promise less on the spending front until they know the real state of the national finances, and then work out how they can attract private capital from home and abroad to help build the major projects our country and economy needs. These are big nation-building tasks and ACCI is committed to working with AMMA and the resource industry on making them happen.



Gray’s vision for Australian resources ALL THE OPINION polls are indicating he may not be in the job for long, but nonetheless industry groups have unanimously welcomed the appointment of Gary Gray as the new Minister for Resources and Energy. Entering the role after the highly GARY respected Martin Ferguson resigned from GRAY the portfolio in March, Gray brings a strong vision for long-term growth and prosperity. Speaking at the recent 17th International Conference on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG 17) in Houston, Texas, Gray highlighted Australia’s desire to be the world’s largest exporter of LNG before 2018 and outlined the importance of corporate social responsibility. “Seven of the 12 global projects currently under construction are Australian. Over the next five years, we will see an expansion of the LNG industry with Australia at the epicentre,” he says. “Around the world, production of natural gas is creating thousands of jobs, encouraging new technologies and innovation, and facilitating development in regions that have not grown for decades. “(However) without good governance and public policy on safety, environmental and other regulatory issues, Australia

would not have a shot at being the biggest LNG producer in the world. “There is a need to focus on non-technical areas such as community engagement and non-government organisations that don’t have as deep an understanding of your industry.” Regardless of the outcome of the September 14 Federal Election, Gray’s input into Australia’s resources future has already been cemented. He spearheaded the 2010 National Resources Sector Employer Taskforce (NRSET) with the objective to initiate a range of sustainable employment initiatives backed by employers and industry organisations. It was the NRSET recommendations which later led to national resource industry employer group AMMA being granted the Commonwealth funding to establish employment initiatives include the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) and AMMA Skills Connect. In 2012, unperturbed by union pressure, Gray stood by the Enterprise Migration Agreement policy he helped develop and remains an ardent support of the benefits of valuable skilled migration schemes. “As a Western Australian and a former executive with Woodside Petroleum, Minister Gray brings a particularly strong understanding of the offshore oil and gas industry to the role, including the need for the sector to remain competitive and sustainable in the long-term,” says AMMA chief executive Steve Knott.

Skills initiative unites industry leaders THE PEAK INDUSTRY representative bodies covering Australia’s skilled trade occupations have been united under a single labour sourcing and workforce mobility initiative, designed to transition more Australian workers into the burgeoning resources and construction industries. With the support of several pre-eminent skill development organisations, the consortium of industry groups that comprise the AMMA Skills Connect (ASC) initiative are collaboratively working to provide employers with multiple skill, trade and qualification solutions. “Australia’s awareness of the skills and labour challenges faced by the resources and related-construction sectors is greatly evolving,” says AMMA director of group services Tara Diamond. “The close relationship between the resource industry and specific sub-sectors on the construction industry is becoming more important than ever as the demand for skilled tradespeople across Australia heats up. “AMMA Skills Connect is the first time leading industry representative bodies have joined forces to facilitate a more advanced, mobile, transitional and skilled workforce to match Australia’s shifting economic needs.” Developed from the recommendations of the Australia’s Government’s 2010 National Resource Sector Taskforce, chaired

by then Special Minister of State Gary Gray MP, ASC is designed to address the skills shortages and labour mobility challenges facing Australian industry. The initiative is supported by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIICCSRTE) which has provided funds to AMMA to support the start up of a number of key programs designed to address labour shortages. The national project scope includes function-specific training and development, apprenticeship and traineeship programs, verification of competency, international skills assessments and domestic and international labour sourcing. “This initiative has successfully brought together Australia’s peak industry bodies and pre-eminent organisations in workforce related fields to provide resources and construction organisations a single point of service delivery,” says Diamond. “The mandate for ASC is to not only provide resource industry employers with solutions for immediate and time critical resourcing and skill development needs but to also encourage future workforce planning initiatives. “This type of joint industry leadership in establishing a consolidated service delivery for a wide range of labour sourcing and workforce capability elements has never been achieved before.”

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Redpath Australia is ‘thinking pink’ in 2013 for breast cancer.

Redpath paves way for breast cancer awareness WORKERS AT MINING contractor Redpath Australia are tapping into their feminine side this year, turning equipment and workwear bright pink at BHP Billiton’s Cannington mine to raise breast cancer awareness and funding for research. Partnering with the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), Redpath and BHPB have begun issuing pink hard-hats and highvis vests to employees who donate $50 or more to the charity. Redpath marketing manager Rhiannon Vines, says the initiative has drawn positive feedback from both men and women across the site. “Initially we weren’t sure how enthusiastic our workers would be about wearing bright pink to work, but they have been incredibly supportive, with many volunteering and getting involved,” says Vines. In addition to BHPB’s launch donation of $10,000, a pink excavator is also hard at work on the Cannington site, with Redpath volunteering a $10 donation for each hour the equipment is in operation. As part of the awareness campaign, employees will be provided with information packs promoting the NBCF’s key | Winter 2013 |

messages, including early detection of symptoms and treatment. “We don’t want the real message of research and early diagnosis to be lost amongst all the pink, so hopefully, these information packs can be passed on to partners and loved ones, raising awareness in remote communities and maybe even saving a life,” says Vines. National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO Carole Renouf is thrilled with Redpath Australia’s initiative, praising the mining sector for supporting its cause. “We are delighted that the mining sector recognises the importance of funding research into this disease, and we welcome their support to help us achieve our goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030,” says Renouf. Redpath Australia is holding a number of ‘Think Pink’ events over the course of 2013 as part of the campaign, aiming to boost donations and raise awareness in smaller communities on behalf of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The company has also now launched a new campaign, complete with a bright blue 60-tonne truck, in support of mental health organisation Beyond Blue.



Building Bechtel’s first line leaders Bechtel’s Craig Kingston says ‘leaders are neither born, nor made’. In this article, we explore how the world’s leading EPCM company is continually developing its leadership capacity. BECHTEL AUSTRALIA IS playing a significant role in the nation’s burgeoning resources sector through the EPC project management of mega-projects in Australia. The company’s global track record of innovation and technical expertise aside, a focus on nurturing prospective leaders CRAIG through a formal development framework KINGSTON has seen Bechtel’s people emerge as its greatest asset. “Due to the complexity of the work environment the greatest variable in domestic, large scale, heavy industrial projects is the people,” says Craig Kingston, Bechtel’s Mining and Metal Asia Pacific leadership and apprentice program specialist. “The challenges of working with large numbers of people, from diverse backgrounds in remote locations under arduous conditions can be exacerbated if first line leaders do not possess the necessary skills, knowledge and attitude to cope with the human aspects of behaviour. “A leadership program that provides continual development opportunities is a vital element in assisting employers to reduce risk associated with a large work force. It enables the successful execution of projects.” Noting Bechtel’s advanced leader identification and training process, Kingston says the status quo of promoting workers into leadership positions based on their on-site performance has inherent risks. Rather than promoting a talented worker and leaving them to ‘sink or swim’ in their first leadership role, he says Bechtel identifies and nurtures leadership characteristics and potential through a system of continuous development. “Leaders are neither born nor made. What all leaders require is continual development and currently most of this

development occurs in an ad hoc fashion,” says Kingston. “This approach relies more on luck than anything else. Leadership is too important for the risky approach of ‘select now – train later’. “Ideally, formal leadership training should occur prior to taking up a designated leadership role, especially when taking up a leadership role for the first time.” Bechtel has developed a more robust and sustainable leader development model that offers its workers a natural development progression, rather than simply attending one-off courses. The Asia Pacific team is adopting a three-level continuum to leadership training that covers a lower-level teamwork building course; a ‘foundations of leadership’ program for the development of emerging leaders; and finally a ‘leaders of leaders’ course for more senior middle management roles. “To be true to itself the industry needs to fall in love with leadership – not pay it lip service through sporadic attendance on well-meaning courses,” says Kingston. “This doesn’t equip leaders to relate to the demands of harsh 24/7 lifestyles associated with remote work sites. “To reinforce the outcomes of Bechtel’s leadership program, we support the three-levels of courses with infrastructure to allow for the continuing development of first line leaders. “This includes providing exposure to additional leadership responsibilities through on-job experience and an active annual performance reporting system. “In addition, mechanisms such as a peer-to-peer buddy system, formal mentoring and coaching, leadership forums and a virtual learning environment, provide extra support for the developing leader.” This leadership mantra is seeing frontline leaders on all of Bechtel’s Australian operations provide an active and positive example to other aspiring leaders among its workforce.

Bechtel workers at BMA’s Daunia coal project (Qld).

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Union entry to REMOTE SITES BLASTED AUSTRALIA’S BUSINESS LEADERS are deeply concerned that the federal government’s workplace reform agenda remains focused on bolstering the privileges of union bosses and not addressing fundamental flaws identified by the Fair Work Review process in 2012. Resource industry employers are apprehensive of changes to trade union site access laws detailed in the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013. Of particular concern are requirements for employers to facilitate accommodation and transport for union officials to access highly specialised remote sites, such as offshore oil and gas platforms and major mining operations. AMMA’s principal consultant Tony Bradford has experienced first-hand the complexities of an offshore hydrocarbons operation and says new capacities for union officials to enter such sites are ‘completely unrealistic’. “These hydrocarbons sites are highly specialised operational activities often occurring 100 kilometres offshore. Complex oil and gas platforms are not tourism sites for sightseers or industrial playgrounds for union salespeople,” says Bradford. “Not only do these latest proposals ignore the complex safety and logistical realities of the resource industry, there are significant economic and compliance costs in moving people in and out of offshore and remote onshore operations.” Offshore oil and gas workers are in the top 5% of Australian pay and conditions and often have nominated site safety representatives or a nominated union representative to facilitate communication between workers and unions. Coupled with the fact that union officials are more safely and conveniently able to communicate with employees at onshore helipads or other more practical locations, Bradford can’t see the sense in forcing employers to open up remote resources sites for regular union access. “The issues for employers include safety, efficiency, productivity and freedom of association,” he says. “These are critical to the viability of Australia’s valuable oil and gas projects. Helicopter transport costs alone could incur a $30,000 bill to some projects and that’s before factoring in productivity losses, indemnity issues, safety risks and operational disruptions. “Proper supervision of union visitors also requires the diversion of specialist resources, including highly trained health and safety officers who will need to chaperone officials around the sites, away from critical functions.” Along with AMMA policy representatives, Bradford outlined the resource industry’s concerns with the expanded right of entry provisions in the amendment bill to a Senate Committee hearing in April. Despite the widespread concerns for productivity and safety impacts in particular, Federal Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten stands by the new provisions. “All Australian workers, regardless of the location of their workplace, have a right to union representation and (there is | Winter 2013 |

a right) that unions should have fair access those workers they are entitled to represent,” says Shorten during the bill’s second reading speech in Parliament. “For this reason the bill will introduce an obligation on an employer to facilitate access to travel and accommodation for permit holders to access certain remote locations where access can only occur by the employer assisting with transport or accommodation.” Union site entry remains a key reform issue for AMMA and other business representative groups, having increased exponentially since the Fair Work Act 2009 was implemented. One nationally significant hydrocarbons project, Woodside’s Pluto LNG, experienced 450 site visits between July 2009 and May 2010 from the four unions eligible to represent the project’s workers. An equally important issue is the latest amendment bill’s provisions that on-site lunch rooms be the default meeting place for union business in the absence of agreement between the parties on another location. This is despite 86% of private sector workers preferring not to join a union. “Before the Fair Work system was introduced, everyone understood and accepted the rules about how and when unions could access Australian workplaces; now these have been completely opened up and union intrusion into businesses has become out-of-control,” says Bradford. “Those unions seeking to sell membership to offshore resource workers should continue to do so at onshore and centralised locations, which have proven appropriate in the past. “Making lunchrooms the mandatory meeting place for union business is expected to create workplace conflict. During a 12-hour shift, workers want to spend their lunch breaks enjoying a meal and reading the newspaper – not being badgered daily to sign-up to a union.”

Union officials seek access to offshore oil and gas platforms (Image: Woodside)



Keep the bullies where they belong EXTENDING THE RESPONSIBILITIES of Australia’s industrial umpire, the Fair Work Commission (FWC), to hear workplace bullying complaints is ‘misplaced’ and would create practical issues for employers, the resource industry has told a Senate committee inquiry. In its Submission to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committee inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013, AMMA says the proposed brand new function for the FWC to handle bullying issues was not recommended by the government’s own Fair Work Review Panel. “AMMA and its members recognise that workplace bullying is an issue that must be taken seriously and it is something that is taken seriously by resource industry employers,” says AMMA senior workplace policy adviser Lisa Matthews. “But we maintain that the current legislative and regulatory framework that imposes a duty of care on employers in this area is sufficient and no further regulation on employers in this area will assist in addressing this issue. “Employers are already dealing with what is a fraught area given the subjective and inherently challenging nature of many allegations of workplace bullying.

“The federal government should not make this more difficult for employers by creating a new industrial jurisdiction for workplace bullying that will intersect in unforeseen ways with the plethora of other jurisdictions that already exist.” According to the national resource industry employer group, the government should provide more guidance for employers on how to most effectively prevent and respond to workplace bullying - without exposing them to increasing numbers of frivolous claims. Matthews says the government should rather work closely with the states and look to strengthen and enforce OHS legislation to deal with workplace bullying. “The aim must be to have a culture free of workplace bullying, not to litigate it after it happens. More consultation and policy development should have been undertaken before drafting legislation in this area,” she says. “The government must also do something about the very real problem of bullying by unionists which the Fair Work Act currently protects from any employer action.” At the time of publishing, the proposed amendments remained under the Senate Committee’s review but were expected to be further debated in parliament in coming weeks.

Industry hits government for six THE WORKPLACE RELATIONS debate leading up to the September 14 Federal Election will likely follow a predictable script – the Opposition playing down its policies as moderate fixes while the ALP and trade unions roll-out a tired and contrived ‘back to WorkChoices’ campaign. On behalf of its members and the entire national resource industry, AMMA is cutting through the noise by advocating for six key priorities for workplace reform: 1) Protected Industrial Action: Rather than the premature and damaging industrial action that has become a hallmark of the current IR framework, the system should maximise the proportion of Australian enterprises able to successfully agree on terms and conditions of employment without being subject to or threatened with damaging strike action. 2) Allowable matters in agreements and bargaining: The present IR system allows almost any union claims in enterprise agreements, which regularly include matters to entrench, support and extend their role in the workplace. With strike action ensuing, the next government must limit agreement content to matters pertaining solely to the direct employment relationship. 3) Greenfield agreement making: New projects are being stalled, completely withheld or are proceeding after succumbing

to excessive and uncommercial union demands. With spiralling costs in the Australian market, urgent reform to the new project agreement making framework is needed to secure new valuable resources projects. 4) Individual flexibility: Individual flexibility arrangements under the Fair Work Act are a smokescreen and often preclude genuine flexibility in the workplace. The 87% of private sector workers who are non-union members should be able to enter into genuine flexible working agreements with an employer for up to four years, subject to the statutory better off overall test. 5) Union site access: The Fair Work system has opened up the rules about how and when unions can access Australian workplaces, and now union intrusion in businesses has become out-of-control. Proportion and reasonableness need to be reinserted into these laws to respect the choice being made by most working people to not to join a union. 6) Adverse action: The very broad-ranging ‘adverse action’ provisions were introduced without any genuine examination of their necessity or sound system design. Failing the removal of the adverse action provisions in their entirety, a number of changes must be made including removing the reverse onus of proof on employers and the six-year time limit for bringing a claim against an employer.

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Workplace focus key to productivity challenge A new discussion paper on workplace regulation and practices in the resource industry explores how a multi-faceted approach to labour efficiency could see the nation’s mining, oil and gas projects pull Australia from its productivity slump. LEAD AUTHOR OF AMMA’s discussion paper Resource Industry Productivity: Analysis and Policy Options, Luke Achterstraat, notes productivity in the resource industry has been in decline since 2001 and is now 45% off its peak, evident in ABS data. Although this situation is not unique to LUKE Australia, AMMA’s Brisbane-based policy ACHTERadviser believes that on a global scale, STRAAT our nation can no longer rely on its ‘lucky’ reputation. “The surge in commodity prices, an investment boom and resource depletion have all been cited for initiating a steady but inevitable decline in multifactor productivity, which takes into account the effects of both labour (employees) and capital (assets) on production output,” says Achterstraat. “With capital productivity unlikely to pick up in the shortterm given the sheer volume of recent investment, the key to enhancing productivity in the mining sector lies largely in raising labour productivity.” Australia’s strategic location in Asia is often cited as a key driver of the resource industry’s competitiveness; however, there are fast emerging new competitors in this region. With foreign investment pouring into promising new resource markets like Mongolia, Achterstraat says productivity growth is Australia’s most important determinant for long-term economic prosperity. “While Australia will never be able to compete against many of our Asian neighbours on wage costs, it is concerning to see our industry at a distinct cost disadvantage compared to an economy of comparable living standards such as the US,” he says. “Employers face competition from emerging resource nations and, combined with escalating costs, there is serious concern for the $383 billion of investment currently under consideration across the industry. “Recent project scale-backs indicate that cost escalations are impacting jobs and investment. We can no longer rely on high commodity prices to underwrite our revenues, jobs and national income.” Reversing Australia’s high-cost, low productivity trend hinges on the ability to assess the impacts of global investment competition and improve both legislative and non legislative workplace initiatives. To underpin an increase in resource industry labour productivity, Achterstraat says the case for workplace relations reform is undeniable. | Winter 2013 |

He notes AMMA’s key priority areas for workplace relations reform (see p.22) address these issues and, if adopted by the next federal government, Australia’s resource industry can become more internationally competitive, productive and sustainable. While maintaining Australia’s workplace relations laws need urgent reform, Achterstraat explains the employer group is also focused on non-legislative productivity initiatives. The discussion paper sets out six proposals in the areas of investment, work practices, leadership, technology, productive bargaining and skills development to boost productivity and collaboration in the resource industry. “A genuine discussion around both the workplace relations and non-workplace relations measures is required to restore resource industry productivity,” says Achterstraat. “In addition to AMMA’s advocacy for effective workplace reform, our members report that driving productivity gains within their respective organisatons is very much on their agenda as a corporate priority. “For example, the creation of a Productivity Investment Index could collate industry best practice to support the business case for employer investment in employee engagement, process improvements and technological adaption. “A grassroots style research project into remote FIFO work sites could identify innovative, practical ways to increase productivity at the coal face. There is also scope to reignite the commitment of employers and employees to address productivity gains through workplace bargaining. “Ultimately, a multi-faceted approach is required to ensure our industry delivers on its great promise.”

A multi-faceted approach is needed to boost Australia’s labour productivity.



Policy at a glance A wrap-up of recent policy activity by AMMA executive director, industry, Scott Barklamb. AUSTRALIAN JOBS AMMA made a submission to the Senate Economics Committee about an exposure draft of federal legislation requiring Australian Industry Participation Plans for all major projects, that is, projects involving capital expenditure of $500 million or more. In our submission, AMMA informed the Senate about the true contribution made by the resource industry to Australia – it has been the most important driver of economic wealth in Australia over the past decade. AMMA’s submission also addressed the appropriate role for government in major projects. We noted the key objectives to be addressed in legislation directed to major projects should be increasing labour productivity and reducing cost. FAIR WORK AMENDMENT BILL 2013 AMMA made a comprehensive submission to the Senate inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2013 in April this year. We were also one of just four employer organisations invited to give further evidence in person to the committee. AMMA’s key concerns with the Bill related to opening up union access to remote worksites and to employees in their lunch breaks; as well as extended powers for the FWC to intervene in workplace bullying allegations. MINERAL AND ENERGY RESOURCE EXPLORATION The Australian Government has asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the non-financial barriers to mineral and energy resource exploration. AMMA made an initial submission to the inquiry. The submission focused on two non-financial barriers to the performance and efficiency of resource exploration in Australia: workforce issues and occupational health and safety.

shortly, and Victoria which has said it will not participate in the harmonisation process at this stage. There are also separate legislation and regulations being drafted and finalised specifically for mining industry operations which will be released some time in 2013.

SUPERANNUATION Several important changes to superannuation will take effect on 1 July 2013. A key change is that employers’ compulsory contributions on behalf of employees will rise from 9 to 9.25%. Another change is that the amount that those aged over 60 can contribute to super before incurring a tax disadvantage will rise from $25,000 to $35,000 a year. TACKLING JOB INSECURITY BILL The Fair Work Amendment (Tackling Job Security) Bill 2012, tabled by Greens MP Adam Bandt, sought to restrict the use of casual and contract work by empowering the Fair Work Commission to impose ‘secure employment orders’. The Bill is not expected to pass and AMMA’s submission emphasised that these forms of work are desired by employees for flexibility and that the proposal misconceived the notion of ‘job security’. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION IN QUEENSLAND AMMA made a submission to an inquiry by the Queensland Parliament’s Finance and Administration Committee into the operation of Queensland’s workers’ compensation scheme. The submission stated the general expectations of AMMA members regarding workers’ compensation schemes and identified matters regarding the contemporary nature of the resource industry, its workplaces and its workers.

MODERN AWARD REVIEW – APPRENTICES, JUNIORS & TRAINEES The 2-year review of modern awards is underway with applications from the ACTU and their affiliates seeking a 15% increase in minimum apprentice rates across a raft of awards. AMMA was one of many employer groups that argued these substantive claims were beyond the scope of the review and that minimum rates concerns were a matter for the Minimum Wage Panel. OHS HARMONISATION Most states have now enacted their mirror Work Health & Safety Acts, giving effect to the national harmonisation of state work health and safety laws. The two exceptions are Western Australia, which is expected to finalise its legislation


All of AMMA’s policy submissions can be found at

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Don’t politicise importance of skilled migration, says AMMA IN A SUBMISSION to a Senate Standing Committee Inquiry, AMMA has stressed that 457 Visas and other skilled migration programs are a small but critical part in meeting the resource industry’s workforce requirements and should be off-limits to politically charged rhetoric and short-term, poll-driven policy making. As recently as March, the Joint Standing Committee on Migration recognised the positive role the 457 Visa program plays in maintaining Australia’s competitiveness and productivity in a global economy. AMMA says the time has come for regulators to accept this and move on. According to executive director industry, Scott Barklamb, the current misleading depictions of the 457 Visa program ‘threaten to tarnish our reputation as an openly engaged economy ready to do business with the world’. “If Australia aspires to be a middle power in the world and to offer global and regional leadership we simply can’t indulge in such misguided politics at home,” says Barklamb. “The depiction of skilled migrants as foreigners needing to be ‘put at the back of the queue’, and that Australians are being ‘discriminated against’, is regretable and ignores the reality that current rules require labour to first be sourced from the local workforce. “Australia does not exist in a vacuum but rather we compete

in global markets to secure capital, technology, skills and expertise. Employers are also concerned about the politically driven context in which changes to the 457 Visa program were announced, without any industry consultation.” AMMA has joined other leading industry groups in urging the government to take a cautious approach to changing what is proving to be an economically responsive and socially responsible 457 Visa program. “The mining industry alone committed over $1.1 billion to training in 2011-12 and a number of proactive resource industry initiatives seek to bring employment opportunities to even more Australians,” he says. “It is therefore no surprise that 457 visa workers account for only 2.6% of the mining industry workforce, and consistently account for less than 1% of the construction workforce. “In any scheme, there will always be a small minority that doesn’t play by the rules. However the government should focus its efforts on enforcing existing legal obligations, not adding further fundamentally unnecessary regulation. “Skilled migration into Australia should not be opportunistically politicised at the expense of regulatory stability and the certainty that employers, investors and working people need.”

457 Visa rhetoric doesn’t match the facts THE ANTI-SKILLED MIGRATION campaign being peddled by Federal Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor in the lead up the September 14 election appears to conflict with the advice of his own department, which has stated that the 457 Visa program ‘responds well to economic needs’. In a media statement shortly before the Gillard Government demonstrated its intention to make skilled migration an election issue, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) noted its figures show a downward movement in temporary skilled migrants. “Temporary work visa applications have been heading downwards since June 2012 and have now declined for the last three consecutive months,” says the DIAC spokesman. “Reinforcing this trend has been a drop in actual 457 visa grants since August (2012). This movement demonstrates the 457 visa program’s responsiveness to the changing needs of the Australian economy.” The latest DIAC 457 Visa report available at time of print confirms that while the number of 457 Visa applications lodged in 2012-13 to 31 March 2013 was 7.0% higher than the same period last program year, there has been a significant downward trend since August 2012. | Winter 2013 |

New South Wales remains the highest user of 457 Visas with 18,990 applications (up 13%) lodged in the 12 months to March 31, followed by Western Australia with 12,480 (down 4.7%) and Victoria with 10,540 (up 10.9%). Construction remains a high user of 457 Visas, comprising 11.5% of the total applications granted, though its intake was 6.8% less than the previous year. Hospitality, Health Care and Social Assistance, and ‘Other Services’ are the other large sponsor industries of 457 Visas and have all increased intake. Mining has continued its sharp decline in 457 Visa usage, down 22.1% on the previous 12 months to comprise just 6.8% of Australia’s total intake – now only the seventh highest user of the program with 3,780 application lodged in the year ending March 31. “While trade occupations have grown, the program remains concentrated on highly skilled managers and professionals. Remuneration levels also demonstrate how successful the program is in targeting highly skilled workers,” says the DIAC spokesman. Despite his own department rebutting much of his basis for additional changes to the system, Minister O’Connor continues to pursue his political agenda to introduce tougher administrative, regulatory and legislative requirements from July 1.



DIAC STREAMLINES visitor visas RECENT CHANGES TO the Visitor and Medical Treatment Visas have taken effect as part of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s ‘Simpler Visas’ reform agenda that intends to halve the total number of visa subclasses by 2015. According to AMMA’s manager of migration services, Jules Pedrosa, JULES resource industry employers should be PEDROSA aware of how these changes impact the engagement of foreign workers. “The reforms took effect on 23 March 2013 and have reduced the number of Visitor Visas from nine subclasses to five: Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400); Visitor Visa (600); Electronic Travel Authority (601); eVisitor (651); and Medical Treatment Visa (602),” says Pedrosa. “The most significant aspect of these changes is that the limited work entitlement (Condition 8112) for the previous business visitor visa group has been removed. This will affect applicants who did not have their 456, 459, 977, 956 or 651 visas approved before March 23. “Potential visa applicants who intend to undertake specialised short-term work in Australia must now apply under the

provisions of the new Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) Visa.” The Subclass 600 Visitor Visa, 651 eVisitor Visa and 601 Electronic Travel Authority Visas will only be available to applicants who are coming to Australia for specific short-term business activities. There are no limited work rights attached to these particular visas. The two different Medical Treatment Visas have been merged into one but Pedrosa notes this won’t have a wide impact on employers. “It is those AMMA members which were previously bringing in foreign nationals on 977 business ETAs or 651 business eVisitor visas who will be most impacted,” he says. “These visas were previously used to perform limited, highly specialised work on a short-term basis. Under these changes, the removal of the limited work entitlement means employers will no longer be able to use these visas for this limited work purpose. “For foreign nationals who already held one of the existing 977 and 651 visas before March 23, DIAC confirmed these visas will still be valid with limited work rights until their expiry dates.” Pedrosa says any members who are concerned about these changes should contact AMMA Migration Services through the AMMA website.

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Few people outside the industry appreciate the magnitude and the complexity of the tasks facing energy companies. ULYSSES YIANNIS.

FUELLING AUSTRALIA FOR THE LONG HAUL As Asia Pacific South HR Manager for ExxonMobil, Ulysses Yiannis is acutely aware of the responsibility falling on his shoulders. Having been with the company for more than two decades, he candidly explains why the oil and gas giant’s people strategies are the secrets to its 125 years of success. | Winter 2013 |

COVER STORY FROM THE WINDOW of Ulysses Yiannis’ Southbank office, the distant towers of ExxonMobil Australia’s Altona Refinery can be spotted just beyond the Melbourne city skyline. The CBD surroundings of ExxonMobil Australia’s headquarters have changed markedly in the two and a half decades Yiannis has spent with Australia’s oldest petroleum company, but the 24/7 oil refinery is a daily reminder of what well-managed people power is capable of. “We built that in 1949 and it’s still operating,” says Yiannis, pointing towards the Refinery’s distillation columns on the horizon. “It’s not just hanging on against the fierce regional refining competition that has resulted in other Australian refineries being closed – it is one of the most reliable refineries in the world. “To understand how this relatively small refinery can achieve such world-class performance you need to understand how our company operates. ‘Business as usual’ won’t cut it in the refining industry in this country today. “We have to constantly adapt to changing circumstances in order to compete. Changes can come from the market place, or from the policy environment. Either way we require a constant stream of new ideas and innovation in order to perform more efficiently, more safely, while trying to reduce our environmental footprint. “When the industry was faced with substantial investments in order to meet new fuel standards in 2006, the Altona team found an innovative way to leverage existing equipment and comply with the new regulations at a fraction of the cost of the investments made by some of our competitors. “In July last year we were faced with another hurdle with the introduction of a cost on carbon. But our people have proven resilient despite the challenges. They continue to look for opportunities to thrive and grow.” Yiannis says the Altona performance epitomises how ExxonMobil companies operate the world over. “Few people outside the industry appreciate the magnitude and the complexity of the tasks facing energy companies,” he says. “We have to come up with new ideas, we have to further develop energy technology across the board to improve our ability to find and deliver energy. “Our ideas are generated, honed and developed by large, multi-disciplinary teams of specialists collaborating to achieve solutions. “When we went out into Bass Strait with BHP Billiton over four decades ago we were pushing the envelope of technology. Our scientists and engineers had to discover and develop new technology that would allow us to safely recover the oil and gas from beneath the sea. “Today we have just completed the installation of new infrastructure, including a new platform to develop vital supplies of gas from our Kipper, Tuna, and Turrum fields. Again, making this $4.4 billion project a reality required new cutting-edge engineering. “The same could be said for the work ExxonMobil companies are doing to develop the Scarborough field, or the Gorgon gas resources off Western Australia or the $19 billion PNG LNG Project.


Marlin B is the newest gas platform in the Bass Strait and weighs 4700 tonnes.

“Ours is a highly-competitive industry that runs on a constant need for new ideas – ideas that come from our best brains, from diverse viewpoints. “This is not new. The world’s energy demand has been rapidly growing for over a century and all along we have been meeting that growth through new ideas generated by our scientists and engineers. “This is why our greatest strength lies in our ability to attract, develop and retain high-quality people – it’s in our DNA.”

‘A CAREER FOR LIFE’ Yiannis believes this strength is what differentiates ExxonMobil from other companies and why the work of his human resources team is critical to the company’s success. “When I see job ads for CEOs and directors in the newspapers I know why ExxonMobil is so different to other companies,” he says. “In the 23 years I’ve been with the company I cannot recall us advertising for such a senior management position. “ExxonMobil always gets its managers from within the company. We hire quality people – people who display leadership qualities. And then we set about developing them to their full potential.” »

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The Marlin A Platform forms part of the KTT Project.

In discussing how the company attracts, develops and retains quality people, Yiannis says the key is remembering that people are individuals with individual wants and needs. “We need diversity of ideas so we strive for a diverse workforce,” he says. “As a global organisation our workforce reflects the local communities in which we operate, giving us a diverse and multifaceted employee base of unique individuals – each with ideas and perspectives born of their distinct backgrounds. “Our employees differ in age, gender, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs and they operate across multiple cultures and languages. “Our objective is to find and develop the unique value in each person. This requires an open mind and it is an ongoing challenge.” He notes that ExxonMobil hires people with the expectation that they will be with the company for a career. “This doesn’t mean offering ‘a job for life’, but rather having systems and practices that are all about long-term career orientation,” he says. “Our experience shows that if employees make it through the first four or five years with ExxonMobil Australia, they are likely to spend 20 or 30 years with us. Our turnover rate, once you get beyond the first five years has been less than 3%, even in this hot market.” The keys to ExxonMobil’s market leading retention rates can be found in a company-wide focus on flexibility, wide career opportunities and competitive remuneration and benefits. While people may resign or choose different career paths, Yiannis notes it is uncommon for talent to leave for competing oil and gas companies. “We make sure we pay competitively but it’s more than that. The policies we have in place are policies that work for the different lifecycles of a person’s career,” he says. | Winter 2013 |

“One example is our company-sponsored childcare centre just down the road from here. Finding a quality childcare centre near the CBD that offers the flexibility to change or add days when required is very difficult – ExxonMobil Australia has been providing this facility to our Melbourne based workforce for more than 20 years. “When combined with competitive parental leave, and up to an extra weeks paid leave in the year employees return from that leave, it makes for a valued benefit. “Additionally, our people are also able to purchase extra annual leave. I have three young kids and have purchased extra annual leave this year because I want to spend more time with them. “If someone is getting close to retirement but wants to keep working and we want to hang onto their skills, we can facilitate part-time arrangements or allow people to work from home if it makes sense.” These workplace policies are ‘best practice’ but Yiannis is well aware that many resource employers are right on par. ExxonMobil however, finds its edge through a plethora of global career opportunities. As a mature operation in the fastest growing region of the world, ExxonMobil Australia is a prime source of expertise for other ExxonMobil companies globally. “We have 200 Australians working overseas at the moment,” says Yiannis. “On a per capita basis we have the second highest number of expatriates in the ExxonMobil world. “And they aren’t just engineers and geoscientists; they’re HR people, accountants, plant operators and technicians. Our employees, at any stage of their career, can have access to opportunities to work anywhere from PNG, Asia, the Middle East to the USA, Europe or Africa and many countries in between. “So in terms of strategies to keep the best people, we provide a challenging and flexible career in Australia or

COVER STORY Ours is a highly-competitive industry that runs on a constant need for new ideas – ideas that come from our best brains, from diverse viewpoints. ULYSSES YIANNIS. opportunities to work overseas if they are capable and willing to go to some interesting locations. “These opportunities work both ways. When developing a new operation like the PNG LNG Project, we need to rapidly increase the skills of the local workforce. We do this by bringing expertise into the country and by bringing locals overseas to work in our established operations. “We have Papua New Guinean operations and maintenance trainees travelling to Canada and Malaysia for six-months of skills development and we have Papua New Guinean graduate engineers working on our operations here in Gippsland.”

CULTURE AND COMMUNITY ExxonMobil’s local origins can be traced back to Mobil Oil Australia’s first office in Queen Street, Melbourne in 1895. More than 115 years of longevity in any market can only come with responsible community engagement and a strong corporate culture – both of which ExxonMobil Australia emphasises daily. “Nothing builds confidence in the community more than safe and environmentally responsible operations of your facilities,” says Yiannis. “If you look at Exxon Mobil Corporation’s safety and environmental performance globally, it leads the pack and that’s in an industry that already operates to the highest level of safety and sustainability performance.” Yiannis attributes that performance to a ‘strong corporate culture that cuts through international barriers and a global network of employees who embrace four key principles. “First and foremost is an unwavering adherence to operating in the safest way we possibly can. The second is operational excellence – operating our facilities to the level of highest integrity,” he says. “The third principle is commitment to ethical behaviour. It doesn’t matter if ExxonMobil companies are operating in Australia or the US, Qatar, Indonesian or Nigeria; we operate our businesses to the same high ethical standards. “The final one is very strong capital and financial discipline. If you ask any employee from any affiliate in the world about what characterises ExxonMobil – they are sure to give you some version of these four principles.” ‘FUELLING ECONOMIES’ As a vice-president of resource industry employer group AMMA, Yiannis channels his passion for the industry into advocating for its long-term prosperity. He believes the biggest challenge for our political leaders is to maintain Australia’s competitiveness as an investment


destination in the face of policies that can delay new projects, contribute to unsustainable cost escalations and facilitate poor national productivity. “At ExxonMobil Australia we don’t bang a drum in the media, but we do explain our position on a range of important topics to all key stakeholders,” he says. “A major issue we see is that the process for making new construction agreements (greenfields) is unsatisfactory. For example, with our Bass Strait Kipper, Tuna, Turrum Project we found that the legislated process resulted in wage outcomes that far outstripped any sort of competitive rationale. “We’ve also been very clear about productivity challenges that go with these construction projects. We’re frustrated because, in an industry that pays particularly well, we feel the current Act doesn’t do enough to encourage an ongoing productivity focus in the workplace.” For Yiannis, it’s all about ensuring Australia can secure new nationally significant resource projects, and that those underway can have the same longevity as ExxonMobil Australia’s 64-yearold Altona Refinery. “Resource companies have alternative locations where they can invest their capital. Australia needs to ensure it remains an attractive place to invest. One of the things we try to instil in our people is that the decisions we make today will impact our profitability in 10, 15 or 20 years from now. We need to have that long-term view in mind and so do our political leaders,” he says. “I’m proud to work in this industry that develops products which fuel economies. I’d love it if my three young kids could grow up to enjoy long careers in the energy industry, like I have. “Australia needs to maintain a competitive energy industry which continues to help build this nation. It’s the decisions we make today that are going to determine our competitiveness in 20, 30 or 40 years time.”

ExxonMobil will invest $2 billion into the Longford Gas Plant.

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Indigenous engagement for a competitive edge Most resource companies have caught on to the benefits of a diverse workplace, but Incitec Pivot Limited’s Indigenous engagement program is leading the way and delivering the company a competitive edge. WITH RESEARCH SHOWING a reduction in Indigenous disadvantage would release an additional $8.3 billion into the Australian economy by 2029, leading chemical manufacturer Incitec Pivot Limited (IPL) is taking a proactive approach to Indigenous engagement. MARY Launched from its Phosphate Hill McCABE project in the heart of rural Queensland, IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program is proving to be an invaluable investment for both the business and wider community. According to indigenous program manager Mary McCabe, diversifying the workplace is not just a ‘feel-good add-on’, but is also good for business growth and development. “Improving the employment landscape for Indigenous Australians makes sense for Australia’s economy and for social reasons, but diversity is also a strategic tool that can develop the strength, productivity and profitability of a workplace,” says McCabe. “As well as improved innovation and creativity, organisations that are diverse and inclusive have an improved capacity to overcome challenges in original and effective ways. “When successfully managed, diversity contributes to the growth and expansion of an organisation and supports the empowerment of all employees, irrespective of cultural religious or political background, so that they may reach their full potential to contribute to the business and its growth.” Based on a framework of recognition, respect and diversity appreciation, IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program aims to increase the number of opportunities for Indigenous Australians by providing access to employment, education and training. However, the program focuses on more than providing opportunities; it also focuses on developing respect within its workforce. “Embracing diversity is about valuing the unique attributes and different characteristics of each individual,” says McCabe. “This approach to diversity aligns with the group’s values, specifically ‘respect, recognise and reward’, where we respect each other as individuals.” At a brand level, McCabe says a workplace directive toward cultural respect can position organisations as employers of choice. In an ever-changing and demanding market, diversity can deliver the competitive edge to draw talent from both Indigenous and non-Indigenous recruitment markets. | Winter 2013 |

Beyond empowering individuals and stimulating positive business returns, McCabe also believes that IPL’s diversifying initiative is developing stronger community relationships. “Utilisation of community resources and strong support for local businesses are focal points for IPL’s Indigenous Employment Program,” she says. “This, in turn, grows the local economy and positions the organisation as an employer of choice while also contributing to the development of a sustainable and capable community workforce.” With more than 15 projects operating throughout rural Australia, community engagement is a vital element in positive business conduct, and McCabe says the Indigenous Employment Program promotes a ‘responsive and judicious’ organisation that balances client needs with delivering quality community care. “IPL is acutely aware of its impact on local communities and, as a result, strive to foster safe and cohesive working and living environments,” she says. “As such, our corporate social framework is focused on supporting both the local and wider community.” IPL’s 10-year success with their Indigenous Employment Program has contributed to a significant shift toward culturally diverse workplaces across the resource sector. “By investing in the community with an Indigenous development program, business growth can be cultivated now and in the future.”

Jana and Barry in the control room.



Young engineer empowers the next generation The ‘power of engineering’ is witnessed daily within Australia’s resource projects, but Felicity Briody prefers to use its magic to inspire young women to explore this exciting career option. AECOM CIVIL ENGINEER Felicity Briody would love to snap her figures and instantly see women comprise 50 per cent of Australia’s engineering workforce instead of the current 11 per cent, but her true passion lies in shifting perceptions. An ideal world for the 26-year-old co-founder of not-for-profit organisation Power of Engineering is one where people think differently about the industry and its potential. “For me, it’s not just about having more women in the profession, it’s about changing some of the perceptions within the industry and the broader community about what engineers do and the impact they can have on the world around us,” says Briody. “Our message with Power of Engineering is to show young people that you can have the power to change the world. This involves talking about engineering’s contribution to society and the difference you can make.” Briody first witnessed the power of this vision in 2012, when on behalf of Queensland’s Office for Women she managed an event designed to open up the world of engineering to female school students. Registrations for the event hit capacity in just two days. Along with her female colleagues, Briody spoke to year nine and 10 students about her experiences working as an engineer and took them through engaging workshops to demonstrate the diversity of the profession. “After the first event, we surveyed 133 girls and 91 per cent of the students who attended said they’d consider a career in engineering. 57 per cent changed from not considering a career in engineering to saying yes, they would consider it,” she says. After witnessing the power of this message, Briody teamed up with Jillian Kenny to establish Power of Engineering. They formed a committee to help drive their vision; to inspire non-traditional entrants, particularly females, to consider a diverse and creative career in engineering; to squash the perception that a career in engineering is all numbers and hard hats, and to prove that engineers have the power to shape the world they live in. “To enable other engineers to roll out similar workshops in regional areas, we developed a model to make it easy for | Winter 2013 |

Felicity Briody.

anyone, anywhere around Australia to organise an event. The pack has a schedule, budget, lessons learnt and all the information they need to run the program,” says Briody. “One of the unique things about the program is that it really combines everyone in the conversation. We’ll have the events at local universities or a local hall, so it combines school students, universities and industry. “Some of the funding we receive is specifically for low socioeconomic areas and recently we held one event in Cairns for students from Indigenous schools. “By localising events and connecting kids to the engineering environment in their own backyards, we are having maximum impact on young people.” Highlighting just how important role models are for younger girls, Briody reveals she may not have considered engineering as a career had her high-school physics teacher not suggested it. She admits that initially, she held similar misconceptions to those she today dedicates her time to demystifying. “Every female I’ve spoken to about how they’ve ended up in engineering has a similar story. They either have had someone who has influenced them or has suggested engineering,” she says.



Our message with Power of Engineering is to show young people that you can have the power to change the world. FELICITY BRIODY. “I thought studying engineering would involve a lot of numbers and I would struggle, but there’s much more to the profession than maths and hard hats. Through particular projects and initiatives, I’ve had the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives and communities, and that is extremely rewarding. Briody’s contribution to shifting public perception about the role of women in Australia’s engineering industry has not gone unnoticed. Last year she was listed in Australian Financial Review’s ‘100 Women of Influence’, recognising outstanding women who use their influence to improve business and society. “I was really surprised,” she says about being selected for the Young Leaders category among seven other women. “It is such an honour to be named among this group of influential women and it inspires me to encourage more young people to strive for what they believe in.” “This award is testament to the fact that you don’t have to be a CEO to make a difference.”

Innovative engagement techniques showcasing ‘the power of engineering’.

Power of Engineering presentations are becoming increasingly popular.

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ConocoPhillips donates to East Timor health outcomes CONOCOPHILLIPS AUSTRALIA’S $250,000 donation to a Perth-based Catholic health care charity is boosting training opportunities for East Timorese nurses and improving medical outcomes in the small Asian nation. The donation, made on behalf of the joint-venture partners of the Bayu-Undan project, located 500km offshore Darwin in the Timor Sea, will enable St John of God Health Care to facilitate the first hospital-wide training at Dili’s national hospital since the country gained independence in 2002. The investment will also fund Timorese nurses’ participation in facilitated training placements at some of Australia’s best hospitals, making a significant contribution to improving nursing standards. “We are delighted that ConocoPhillips has invested in the Nursing Development Program that we operate in partnership with the Timorese Ministry of Health, which helps improve nursing and standards of health care in Timor-Leste (East Timor),” says St John of God Health Care Group CEO, Dr Michael Stanford. “This is the first major investment in one of our international health development programs from a corporate entity and a resounding endorsement of our commitment to nursing in Timor-Leste.

“We are very pleased to have the support of ConocoPhillips and hope we can continue to work together on community investment and capacity building that will benefit a large proportion of the Timorese population.” President of ConocoPhillips Australia-West, Todd Creeger, says the investment demonstrates the company’s commitment to be an active and valued member of the local communities in which it operates. “ConocoPhillips, together with our Bayu-Undan joint venturers — Santos, INPEX, Eni and Tokyo Timor Sea Resources — are proud to support this important capacity building program to improve the health and wellbeing of the Timor-Leste community,” says Creeger. With 13 private hospitals across all Australian states, St John of God Health Care is the country’s largest not-for-profit private health care group and employs more than 9,700 people. Its Nursing Development Program trains and mentors nurses to develop skills and competencies. A team of eight expatriate nurses currently work in East Timor’s Guido Valadares National Hospital, within the wards with the highest morbidity and mortality rates.

Employer wins latest drug testing ruling THE ABILITY FOR employers to uphold work health and safety procedures as they best see fit has received a boost with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently ruling it was in an employer’s right to terminate an employee who refused to undergo a urine-based drug test. The AWH Pty Ltd employee was AMANDA dismissed for twice failing to comply COCHRANE with a direction to undertake a drug test. He challenged the employer’s decision before the FWC on the basis that he was entitled to choose another method of testing available under the employer’s policy. “In this case the particular method of testing procedure the employer adopted for drugs was a matter for it to decide upon. The respondent’s policy requiring employees to be subject to urine testing for drugs was reasonable,” Fair Work Commissioner Williams noted while ruling in the employer’s favour. The decision is a strong outcome for the company given the reasonableness of urine-based testing has often split the opinion of Australia’s industrial tribunal. In ruling that AWH Pty Ltd’s OHS risk policies were ‘reasonable and legitimate’, Commissioner Williams partially contradicted | Winter 2013 |

the controversial Endeavour Energy Full Bench decision which in 2012 indicated an employer could only implement the lesseffective oral swap testing method. AMMA director legal and migration services, Amanda Cochrane, acted as counsel for the company and says the outcome was ‘a positive development in the ongoing debate over an employer’s ability to enforce legitimate and effective safety measures in the workplace’. “Every worker has the right to feel safe and not at risk from the potential influence of drugs and alcohol in the workplace and employers take the responsibility to uphold these practices very seriously,” says Cochrane. “The ability to choose the appropriate method of drug and alcohol testing is particularly important in the resource industry where employees are working long shifts, side-by-side and often in hot climates. “This decision reinforces that urine testing is a reasonable method for assessing drug and alcohol in today’s workplaces. Importantly, the Fair Work Commission recognised that the most appropriate party for ensuring the safety and well-being of workers is the employer. “Employers can now proceed with confidence in directing urine tests consistent with the stringent health and safety policies especially designed to protect their workers.”

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Mates helping mates in suicide prevention Construction workers may be tough on the outside, but the industry was silently suffering from a mental health epidemic, until Mates in Construction took action. IT WAS THE late 1990s and Jorgen Gullestrup could sense something was not quite right in the Queensland construction sector. The former plumber had something scarily in-common with many of his industry mates; he knew someone who had committed suicide. Following an investigation that revealed a staggering onein-five death payments issued by the Building Employees Redundancy Trust (BERT) were due to suicide, the industry initiated the largest occupational-focused analysis of suicide that had ever been conducted in Australia. “The seven-year study discovered that the rate of suicide among young Queensland construction workers was two and a half times higher than the national average and a construction worker was six times more likely to die from suicide than an accident at work,” says Gullestrup. Not content to leave the problem ignored, BERT established Mates in Construction in 2008 and appointed Gullestrup as CEO, where he has since overseen the development of a national model for suicide prevention in the industry. With prior assistance programs having limited impact, Mates in Construction took a different approach by tailoring a program to industry demographics. “Men comprise three out of four suicides and the industry is 98 per cent male dominated,” says Gullestrup. “We have a male culture where people generally work longer hours, sometimes have low job security, less tertiary education, are higher users of drugs and alcohol and often work away from home or regularly change work environments.

“We knew that in this culture it wasn’t common for men to seek help, but part of the Australian culture is that you help your mate. That’s what the Mates in Construction program is built around – mates helping mates.” Recognised with national awards from both Suicide Prevention Australia and the National Safety Council, the acclaimed program consists of three key stages. Employers and workers first undertake general awareness training which teaches them how to identify someone experiencing mental health problems. Workers can then choose to train as ‘connectors’. “A connector is a mate who can keep you safe while connecting you to help. We try to have one in 20 site workers at different levels trained as connectors,” says Gullestrup. People can then nominate to undertake further suicide ‘first aid’ training to become ‘assist workers’. Assist workers are equipped to keep someone safe in a critical situation before professional help is sought. Each stage of training is represented by a coloured hard-hat sticker so workers know who they can turn to for help and once a workforce has the three elements in place, it received official accreditation. “The sticker system is effective because workers actually take them to the next project, so the program works whether we’ve run it on that site or not,” says Gullestrup. “Today there are 30,000 workers in the program across 140 sites in Queensland and we have recently expanded to Western Australia, South Australia and New South Wales.

Mates in Construction suicide prevention sessions unite workers on-site. | Winter 2013 |

OHS & WELLBEING “We’re independent and have a strict charitable model where we never charge employers to run the program on site. We do what we do on behalf of the industry.” Gullestrup says that while the general awareness training is received with some initial discomfort and a few nervous jokes, workers quickly realise how impactful the program is. In general, more than half of their audience will indicate they have been affected by suicide and for some, it is the first time they will admit to mental distress. “During one presentation to a few hundred people, our trainers realised that a worker wasn’t coping well,” says Gullestrup. “After the presentation we pulled him aside and discovered that just three months earlier he had lost his son to suicide and since then he began to drink and his marriage fell apart. “That guy was a tower plant operator. After our presentation he was due to go up on the tower alone, think about the son he had lost and the mess he was in, all while picking up chunks of steel and moving them around site. “I would strongly suggest that every worker on that site had an interest in that man’s mental health and wellbeing.” It’s for this reason that Gullestrup says the ultimate goal for Mates in Construction is for mental wellbeing to be part of the industry’s safety culture. “Like resources, the construction industry is transient. People can change jobs once or twice a year because it’s projectbased,” he says.


“We want Mates in Construction to be part of the culture and mental wellbeing part of the agenda when setting a project up or inducting new workers. “Just like everyone appreciates having regular safety officers on-site because when the worst happens they are there to help us, every site should have an assist officer.” Gullestrup would also like to see the program mirrored across Australia’s resource operations. “We think our program would work equally well on a mine site or gas project, even when in the operational phase and believe the industry is best placed to run it,” he says. “The issues we face are linked to demographics and that’s something our industries have in common.”

Jorgen Gullestrup with field officer Roby Lawrence touring BMA’s Daunia, Queensland coal mine.

| Winter 2013 |



Training partnership BOOSTS Perilya skills As it enters a significant production phase, Perilya is securing the success of its people through an AMMA RTO partnership in nationally recognised training. WEST AUSTRALIAN MINER Perilya is powering ahead with continuing production from its southern operations and development and production recommencing at its Potosi mine north of Broken Hill, sitting on an estimated 1.6 million tonnes of zinc, lead and silver ore. With other major projects in New South Wales and Queensland adding to the company’s potential, the decision to enter a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Partnership with AMMA will uphold the company’s leading performance standards. “The people who best know how to do the job at Perilya are the people who are experienced at doing the job well. We wanted those people as our workplace trainers,” says Perilya’s manager safety and training, Peter Lean. “We also want to standardise the approach across our operations and with Potosi coming online, it’s important for that standard best practice to be expanded. “Entering into an RTO partnership with AMMA allows us to put in place training processes and materials that are recognised at a national standard. “We chose AMMA because of its understanding of mining related training and issues. We needed an objective third party who understood our training needs and could support us in what we were doing well and focus on the areas we needed to improve.” Perilya is boosting its workforce capabilities by building on its existing skills base and instilling a culture where employees are encouraged to follow a clear career path. After a structured series of inductions that expose employees to the basic skills required onsite, workers can quickly move on to driving underground trucks and loaders. Delivered under the AMMA RTO Partnership, high-performing employees can then gain nationally recognised qualifications with a Certificate III in Underground Metalliferious Mining and Certificate III in Resource Processing, meeting Perliya’s operational needs while assisting its workers to take the next career step. “If employees spend a lot of time in one basic area they get restless and may end up looking for other opportunities, so we like to keep them moving to at least Certificate III level,” says Lean. “Some people decide they don’t want to take the challenge of a specialised skill area so they remain in the role of truck or loader driver. But those who do go on to be a specialist driller are recognised in their pay rate, so there’s an incentive for people to go that far if they want to.” | Winter 2013 |

Perilya’s manager safety and training Peter Lean; compliance coordinator Karen Chynoweth; and training supervisor Mark Pearce.

AMMA training and development consultant Craig Gilvarry, says it’s the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of an AMMA RTO partnership that ticks the boxes for resource industry employers. “The key benefit of the relationship is ownership,” says Gilvarry. “Under an RTO partnership AMMA can assist in the development of training materials or ensure existing materials meet the national standards. Employers then have complete control over where and when the training takes place. “In an industry that relies on 24 hour operation, employers have the flexibility to streamline the training process. Staff may undergo training on their first day on the job, or during the weekend or night shifts. They aren’t restricted by the availability of an external training organisation.” Like many AMMA member companies, Perilya has applied for access to the Australian Government’s National Workforce Development Fund (NWDF), which is providing $700 million to industries for training and development in areas of skills needs.

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT The funding, which AMMA helped Perilya apply for, would go towards further professional development of its supervisory and management teams through the Certificate IV in Frontline Management and the Diploma of Management. “Perilya understands that it is not just the technical skills that are important in our industry but also the ability for supervisors to effectively lead their teams and ensure desired outcomes are met. The certificate in frontline management provides them with the tools to achieve this.” Gilvarry says. “To fine-tune the skills of middle and upper management, Perilya also wanted a course that focused on quality of auditing, so we were able tailor our existing Diploma in Management with a special focus on this area to ensure the company receives a healthy return on investment.” Lean says that although the nature of the company’s operations means some supervisors are able to practice their new skills more often than others, it is important to establish and maintain a standardised skill base. “Every supervisor and relief supervisor has participated in the frontline management program and has definitely enjoyed the training,” he says. “Supervisors use these skills on a day-to-day basis, while relief supervisors may be a member of the team one day and in charge of the team the next.


It is not just the technical skills that are important in our industry but also the ability for supervisors to effectively lead their teams and ensure desired outcomes are met safely. PETER LEAN.

“We believe it’s important to provide them all with the necessary skills to manage this scenario.” With ore reserves at its Broken Hill site the foundation for a further decade of operation, Lean believes Perilya’s investment in AMMA’s suite of training will ensure the company delivers on this growth with the best possible people resources to achieve ‘Safe Reliable Operation’. “We can all get too close to our own systems but partnering with AMMA provides the opportunity to consider what we may not be doing as well as we could and to make improvements that may not be immediately obvious to us,” he says.

Training for Australia’s resources future WITH MORE THAN $600 billion worth of new resource projects and expansions in Australia’s pipeline, skilled workers remain a precious commodity. For the industry to find the people required to build these projects and sustain the Australian resource sector’s pattern of outstanding growth, AMMA’s JANINE TEMPLE director of training and development, Janine Temple, believes the core philosophy is to develop the talent you already have. Temple notes that continued growth is driving an industrywide change in the strategic approach to workforce expansion, turning from predominantly external hiring procedures to more effective internal training and development models. “Faced with strong competition for talent from many industry sectors, resource organisations need to develop effective training and development strategies to meet business objectives,” she says. “At AMMA, we work with our members to deliver quality and practical training that is consistent and cost effective for the resource industry.” As a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), AMMA advocates internal career progression through its comprehensive

range of training and development programs, each tailored to work with operational objectives and strengthen individual skill sets. This ongoing professional development aims to stimulate internal career progression and subsequently open more employment opportunities for entry-level talent. “Our programs are developed with the end-benefits in mind, including reduced staff turnover and increased workforce productivity,” says Temple. “These flexible programs are offered through intensive delivery methods of half-day to 5-day workshops, or through online study options and distance education. “Popular programs include leadership training, frontline management and accreditation for workplace health and safety, though more members are taking up specific operational certificate courses and even asking us to customise their own programs to meet specific business needs.” Adapting to a shifting recruitment market is fast becoming a necessity for competitive players in Australia’s resource industry, however advanced internal training and development opportunities will greatly ease the pressure on the external hire function. According to Temple, an investment in your existing talent is an investment in your place within the future of Australia’s resource industry.

To learn more about AMMA’s Training and Development programs, visit

| Winter 2013 |



Owning career development Self-service has become a part of our everyday lives and in this editorial, Futurestep client solutions director Jeremy Paynter explores how this applies to career development and the role of technology. THERE WAS A time when ‘self-service’ didn’t exist. We read out shopping lists to shopkeepers over the counter, left our insurance decisions to brokers and applied for loans by filling out long paper forms and handing them back to bank managers to consider. The customer experience was based around face to face contact with real people. This was a far cry from today where we’ll order groceries, find the best deal on price comparison websites and conduct our finances online - all from a single iPad screen. We’ve become masters of our own destiny with all the tools to gain knowledge, research and create, compare and purchase. And yet despite self-service playing such a positive, integral part of our lives outside work, all too often our careers and job progressions are dictated by someone other than us. It remains true that the majority of employees globally lack a clear development plan – they know where they want to be and what they hope to achieve, but do not have the tools and clarity needed to progress their career themselves. MINING GOLD DUST In any job, this leads to employee dissatisfaction and increased staff turnover. In the mining industry, especially, a perfect storm of remote working, cost-based relocation and training issues only serves to stir these issues further. Globally, mining is suffering a severe skills shortage, with companies particularly struggling to recruit and retain geologists, engineers and other technical professionals. Furthermore, roles in this industry are not often taken up for the long term, with the major players grasping to retain skilled workers by any means. Fundamentally, retention is about employee satisfaction. This is more than simply enjoying the job – today’s employees also need the satisfaction of being able to drive their own development and engage with the company on a personal level. Ongoing economic uncertainty has left workforces exhausted; employees feel insecure in their jobs and many feel that there is little to no commitment to them from their organisation. We’ve seen employees taking to social media to contact their own companies, publicly, in a desperate attempt to engage. Having become used to managing their finances, insurance policies and healthcare electronically, workers need to be empowered to manage their working lives in a similar fashion. The solution to this is to look at how other sectors - be it online banking, retail or simply Facebook - have enabled such effective engagement and to apply that to human resources. | Winter 2013 |

JEREMY PAYNTER FUTURESTEP, CLIENT SOLUTIONS DIRECTOR. The ability to use a personal online destination that delivers unique content, access to training and robust automation of career monitoring and development that is both rewarding in its simplicity and in the content it provides is an incredibly powerful weapon in the fight to retain, grow and excite your workforce.

AT YOUR FINGERTIPS Such a platform also vastly improves internal mobility prospects that enable employers to up-skill their workers to fill higher roles and cut the time and cost associated with looking externally. By equipping employees with structured career development programmes that can be delivered electronically and offering appraisal structures that are accessible from anywhere, employees can be transitioned into new roles efficiently and in a way that feels rewarding. Even if a new role requires relocation, the reassurance that a consistent digital lifeline to development exists that will follow them wherever they go is a powerful one. I believe that the next 12 months will see employees, empowered in so many other parts of their life to take control and make decisions, waking up to the fact that their career progression remains intangible. Those companies not adapting to such a fierce desire for employee-driven development are likely to fall behind - while those receptive to new processes will begin to lead the way in employee retention and satisfaction.



SMART ACCESS to asset protection Astounded to find the market devoid of smart solutions for controlling industrial equipment access, Perth asset management company CASWA answered the call with an award-winning innovation of their own. IN 2007, THE asset management team at CASWA were presented with a problem. A simple request to find a solution for managing staff access to an overhead crane proved to be a difficult task, with outdated and immobile technologies offering little usability within any large-scale mining operation. Undeterred by the challenge, CASWA set to work developing AccessPack, a simple innovation designed for operational consistency industry-wide. Taking out the Manufacturers Monthly 2012 Australian Industrial Product of the Year Award, CASWA’s AccessPack is a mobile swipe-card device that combines Bluetooth and SmartCard technologies to monitor and control vehicle operations by limiting access only to those with adequate licensing and authorisation. According to CASWA director CASWA Paul Kelly, the unauthorised use of machinery can be a costly and dangerous problem across the resource sector, with misuse and limited accountability contributing in equal measure to serious equipment failure. While the product delivers an industry-first in equipment protection and OH&S compliance methods, the less downtime for machinery repair also has productivity benefits.

The real key to life extension of plant and equipment is to get everyone using it to genuinely care about its condition and operate it to the best of their abilities.

the operator can submit the checklist using their smartphone or tablet.” Administrative efficiency is another key benefit of the AccessPack, driven by the technology’s use of electronic records, remote management and full automation. Despite the high-tech gadgetry, Kelly promises the device to equal other hazardous machinery in terms of durability. “As asset management specialists, we knew we had to deliver a system was more reliable and more durable than the gear it was bolted onto,” he says. “We also know how plant and particularly portable equipment is handled, so we invested heavily in a design that you can literally hammer without it failing.” Though initially designed within the parameters of the resource industry, Kelly says AccessPack was a progressive innovation with a market demand for the product existing across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, logistics and defence. 20 different installation kits have been developed to cater for this demand, as well as a simple user interface that warranted little infrastructure and installation time. “No asset owner wants ‘yet another’ system to have to maintain, so we made sure we could work with existing smartcards and systems” says Kelly. “We spent months developing a control device that can quickly store and retrieve the operator’s access permissions without needing a constant link back to a managing computer. The result is a system with less than 30 minutes of installation time and no ongoing costs.”

PAUL KELLY. “As an asset management technology company, a decade of experience has taught us that equipment is broken by patterns of operator use,” says Kelly. “The real key to life extension of plant and equipment is to get everyone using it to genuinely care about its condition and operate it to the best of their abilities.” Each AccessPack device is equipped with the capacity to monitor who uses the host machinery and how long for, creating a ‘culture of accountability’ that effectively improves equipment care and delivers substantial OH&S outcomes as a result. “Maintenance tracking is one feature, where operators can be notified by flashing lights or even a lockout that the equipment they are about to use is overdue for maintenance or certification,” says Kelly. “Another new feature we have just recently added is Prestart Checklists, where a vehicle can check if a prestart is needed and | Winter 2013 |

CASWA’s AccessPack fitted to a crane radio.

FP AD Diamond Protection



Intertek laboratory technicians at work.

Lab robotics catalyst for new skills Intertek’s expertise in both traditional mineral analysis and advanced robotic technology is introducing a new level of innovation, skills and safety to the Australian minerals sector. VISIT AN INTERTEK minesite facility and you may witness a new state-of-the-art robotic system streamlining the minerals analysis process. The global testing inspection and certification company is applying the technology to address an emerging need for improved safety and efficiency in sample handling. “Our clients in the minerals sector are increasingly looking for assurance that results used for resource modelling or costly exploration projects are reliable,” says senior vice president, minerals, John Fowler. “We rethought the process of how mineral samples are prepared and analysed in a laboratory and working closely with specialists, we were able to automate advanced sample preparation and XRF fusion systems, resulting in the robotic laboratory systems. “Samples are dried, crushed, pulverised and analysed with no manual intervention or process delays. “The systems run continuously and the consistency of processes and removal of human error greatly improves quality assurance, reducing the need for repeat analyses.” It’s the technology’s dual effect of delivering safety benefits and introducing new skills to the workforce that Fowler says has led to a positive reception from industry. “Reducing manual sample handling enhances safety by isolating employees from exposure to hazards such as naturally occurring radioactive material,” he says. “The technology also requires a higher level of system knowledge and understanding, therefore our labour force is | Winter 2013 |

JOHN FOWLER INTERTEK, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, MINERALS. provided training and career development opportunities to up-skill from traditional sample preparation operations. “Overall the workplace is safer, cleaner and more efficient.” The global company’s 900-strong Australian workforce operates one of the country’s largest geotechnical testing facilities at its Perth headquarters; satellite laboratories in Darwin, Townsville and Adelaide; and sample preparation facilities in Kalgoorlie, Port Hedland and Alice Springs.

INNOVATION The robotic systems are housed at dedicated minesite facilities in the Pilbara region. Fowler says continued growth in the resource industry will drive Intertek’s focus on technical innovation in both clientdedicated remote sites and commercial laboratory hubs. Maintaining a highly skilled workforce is crucial to the company maintaining its market edge. “One of Intertek’s key strengths is its high proportion of long serving staff members. A number of our employees have over 25 years’ service,” he says. “We’re constantly enhancing the strength and depth of our workforce through strategic external recruitment and internal staff development.” Partnership with registered training organisation Lab Tech Training allows Intertek employees to obtain nationally recognised qualifications in sampling and measurement or laboratory techniques while continuing to work full-time. “These qualifications provide employees with the theoretical understanding, practical knowledge and skills necessary to create genuine opportunities for career development,” says Fowler. “We’re committed to new initiatives to engage and progress our workforce including competitive salaries and conditions, employee engagement surveys, performance management and internal recruitment to promote diversity of skills. “We strive to reward and recognise. This not only creates a smarter workforce, but helps to retain our best staff.” Fowler adds a persistent focus on technical innovation is necessary if Australia is to remain competitive in the global resource marketplace.


Robotic laboratory systems improve safety of minerals testing.

“Good infrastructure, geological potential and risks associated with alternative exploration destinations mean Australia should continue to be an attractive place to explore and mine,” he says. “However, the country’s high operating costs and politically driven changes in the fiscal climate are impediments to investment in mining exploration. “To remain competitive, innovation will need to feature in Australian mines of the future.”

| Winter 2013 |



Keeping the project pipeline FLOWING The operators and construction contractors of Australia’s world-class gas projects are securing the nation’s export strength for decades and employing thousands of workers. As explained by Tony Caccamo, AMMA is determined to keep this valuable industry competitive and sustainable for the long-term. AUSTRALIA’S BURGEONING OFFSHORE oil and gas sector may be out of sight for most Australians, but these multi-billion dollar projects are vitally important to the national well-being. The Australian Government’s BREE agency values the country’s offshore oil and gas projects being built between now and 2018 at more than $160 billion in investment and 30,000 new jobs for Australian workers. These benefits are at the front of mind for AMMA’s director of workplace operations Tony Caccamo as he manages several important industrial negotiations in the sector throughout 2013. “AMMA is consulting on a number of important industrial negotiations over coming months and the future of Australia’s valuable oil and gas sector relies on securing competitive and sustainable outcomes,” says Caccamo. “The flow on economic and employment benefits of these projects are very significant. The Australian Government and the Reserve Bank estimate that every new resources job accounts for an additional three jobs and great flow-on economic activity in the downstream servicing sectors. “Millions of ‘mum and dad’ investors have also seized opportunities to invest in these projects to fund their retirement. Oil and gas shares also comprise a large portion of superannuation investments covering the vast majority of Australians. “Given the direct significance of the oil and gas sector to the well-being of not only WA, but the whole nation, AMMA is urging all parties to work collaboratively to keep these projects financially viable in Australian waters.” With Australia having been identified as the world’s most expensive destination for building resources mega-projects, controlling an escalating cost curve is vital to the industry’s sustainability. Crippling development costs were cited as a key reason for shelving the $28.7 billion mine expansion at Olympic Dam. That project, now on hold, would have created 8,000 construction jobs, 4,000 permanent jobs and 13,000 associated jobs. Escalations in labour and contractor costs were said to account for one third of the overall impact of the costs blowout. | Winter 2013 |

Woodside’s North West Shelf project is vitally important to the economy.

The $80 billion expansion of the Port Hedland Outer Harbour development has also been pushed back due to the high-cost of operating in Australia. The latest casualty is the $50 billion Browse liquid natural gas (LNG) project shelved in April this year, bringing the value of mega projects that have been formally put on hold or abandoned this financial year to more than $100 billion. “The warning signs are well and truly here that Australia’s resource industry must stop being taken for granted as the cash cow for the Australian economy,” says Caccamo. “In the past five years, Australia’s offshore oil and gas sector has seen significant wage rises that have resulted in some lowskilled positions commanding salaries of up to $325,000 a year. “Construction works have seen wage rises of between 40% and 45% in the five years between 2007 and 2012, virtually twice that of the all-industries average for the same period of 23%. “This has contributed to a situation where the costs of building Australia’s LNG assets are up to 35% more expensive than our next closest competitor, Canada. To secure future investment and keep the industry flourishing, this needs to be rapidly addressed.” Caccamo is determined that all social partners to these projects work together to address increasing domestic cost pressures. The priorities include limiting the levels of red tape and regulatory burden, and overcoming restrictive workplace relations challenges. Productivity is also a key issue given several international studies have cited Australia’s productivity levels as greatly lagging behind other nations. “Restoring productivity and addressing cost pressures in the workplace does not in any way mean removing any workers’ rights or reducing existing wages and conditions,” says Caccamo. “It comes down to understanding and respecting management’s role in increasing the productiveness of Australian workplaces and this means allowing them the flexibility and control to make important operational decisions.” Caccamo says AMMA is moving through the offshore sector negotiations with the objective of not only delivering a fair outcome for workers, but restoring Australia’s ability to compete with other countries on productivity, cost and operational efficiency. Only this will ensure Australia’s crucial offshore oil and gas sector remains sustainable and prosperous for the long-term good of the nation.


AMC celebrates 10 years of local content THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE’S premier integrated marine industrial facility, the Australian Marine Complex (AMC) will soon mark its 10th year supporting local content on the country’s west coast. The AMC is known as one of Australia’s largest ship building precincts but also plays a significant role in providing local businesses with an improved ability to compete for tenders on major resource projects. Located on Cockburn Sound, 23 kilometres south of Perth, the diversified technological and support industry hub celebrates its 10-year anniversary this July, with 21,000 local jobs generated to date. Its four separate precincts are dedicated to shipbuilding, technology, fabrication, and support industries such as manufacturing and design. The complex’s Common User Facility (CUF) houses the world’s most technically advanced floating dock and its multipurpose fabrication, assembly and load-out hub has been utilised by local industry to service major infrastructure projects for resource companies including Shell, BHP Billiton, FMGL and Rio Tinto. In late 2012, former WA Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien


acknowledged a milestone $1.4 billion worth of major infrastructure projects delivered through the complex. “Since 2003, the CUF has created $1.4 billion in economic activity in WA – a sum that would have gone elsewhere had the facility not been developed,” Mr O’Brien says. “We created this infrastructure for local companies to win important contracts within our oil and gas sector, mining and marine and defence. The facility has been a great success and is an important source of employment for Perth’s southern region.” One example of an AMC local content success story is the CB and Kentz Joint Venture, awarded a $2.2 billion contract for mechanical, electrical instrumental and commissioning support for the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG trains. As one example of the AMC’s diverse economic and employment benefits to the region, the contract will ultimately create more than 1,650 local jobs and the development of a project-specific training facility.

Technical work underway at the Australian Marine Complex.

Chevron signs Premier opens Wheatstone Evolution’s Mt LNG agreements Carlton mine CHEVRON AUSTRALIA HAS signed binding long-term sales and purchase agreements (SPAs) with Chubu Electric Power Company Inc. (Chubu) for LNG from the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. Under the agreements Chevron, together with Apache Energy and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company, will supply Chubu with 1 million tonnes per annum of LNG for up to 20 years. “Chubu, one of the world’s leading LNG customers, is now a partner and customer of the Chevron-operated Gorgon Project,” says Chevron Corporation’s gas and midstream president, Joe Geagea. “We are pleased to expand the strong partnership between our two companies with these SPAs for Wheatstone LNG.” The Wheatstone Project is located at Ashburton North, 12 kilometres west of Onslow in Western Australia. The project will consist of two LNG trains with a combined capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per annum and a domestic gas plant.

EVOLUTION MINING’S MT Carlton gold-silver-copper project, south of Townsville, has been officially opened by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. Premier Newman congratulated Evolution on its commitment to the region with the company having invested more than $200 million since 2006 on exploration, evaluation and development of the mine. “I’m delighted by the jobs created, the skills to be learned, and by the boost to local businesses and the Queensland economy,” says Newman. “Mt Carlton is expected to create around 135 fulltime jobs when the mine is in full production and further boost the competitiveness of Queensland’s resources sector.” The Mt Carlton processing plant is currently in ramp-up stage and full capacity is expected to be achieved on a sustainable basis in the September 2013 quarter. The mine’s rapid development and future contribution to the local community was noted.

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Crocodile Gold’s NT mining operations are located 285km south of Darwin.

Crocodile Gold claims its Territory Western Australia and Queensland may be known as the ‘resource states’, but the Northern Territory punches well above its weight, offering vastly untapped potential for global exploration companies like Crocodile Gold to build a healthy portfolio and contribute to economic and employment growth. PETER CROOKS IS quite happy for other resource companies to focus their investments on Australia’s east and west coasts, leaving boundless opportunity for Crocodile Gold Australia Operations in the country’s ‘Top End’. “Less focus on mining investment in the NT means there are vast areas that are largely underexplored and underdeveloped,” says Crocodile Gold’s general manager, Northern Territory. “Fortunately, the Territory Government has initiatives targeting economic growth. Well planned, structured approaches that are developed in consultation with industry will translate to success for business and its stakeholders.” Crooks is referring to the government’s increasingly vocal support for minerals exploration and its aim to position the Territory as a mining ‘hot spot’. Following its defeat of the long standing Labor Government in the 2012 general election, the NT Country Liberal Party then led by Chief Minister Terry Mills, committed to raise the Territory’s profile as an attractive place for resources investment. Earlier that year, a global survey by Canada’s Fraser Institute into the impact of policy, taxation and regulation on exploration investment ranked the NT 11th out of 93 regions for attractiveness of its mining policies. The Territory nudged just ahead of Western Australia in 12th place and well ahead of Queensland at 28th. | Winter 2013 |


ECONOMY Closer to home, Australian diversified financial services firm CommSec highlighted the NT economy as a ‘stand-out’ in its April 2013 quarterly state and territory economic performance report. Although it ranked second to Western Australia, the Territory had closed the gap due to its economic and employment growth. For Crocodile Gold, these factors make the NT an ideal place to build a strong mining portfolio. The company’s operations cover around 2000 square kilometres of tenements with a significant number of potential new projects situated just 285 kilometres south of Darwin. Crooks believes this close proximity to the Territory’s capital city coupled with region’s untapped minerals potential makes for a strong business model. “There a great opportunities for those living in the NT and for those wanting to relocate,” says Crooks. “It’s only a two hour drive from Darwin, so if there is a need for an employee to go home during the week, they are able to. “This means workforce turnover is lower than some areas of Western Australia and Queensland, and there’s definitely value in a more stable workforce.” Crooks’ Crocodile Gold colleague, human resources manager Karen Brown agrees the Territory’s labour market is responsive; however the company’s challenges in sourcing highly skilled workers are representative of the national landscape. “The NT labour market generally meets our demand, however technical roles such as senior engineers, metallurgists and geologists are difficult to source,” says Brown. “We’ve found they cannot always be sourced locally, in part due to competition from projects in Western Australia and larger companies such as BHP or Rio Tinto. “Since the global financial crisis, it has become more of an employee’s market, where employees endeavour to dictate salaries.” Crocodile Gold’s leading the way with onshore minerals exploration but the Northern Territory’s emerging LNG sector is also attracting significant investment. Inpex’s $34 billion Ichthys project offshore the north coast is the star of the show, but significant elements of Chevron’s Gorgon and Wheatstone projects also cross the border off the west coast. Despite the workforces of these mega-offshore gas projects set to peak at many thousands over the next few years, Crocodile Gold’s labour sourcing challenges are not expected to intensify. Brown doesn’t anticipate any real competition for labour from the LNG sector, believing Crocodile Gold has developed a point-of-difference in their HR processes through ‘less tangible benefits’ such as family friendly working arrangements. “These offshore projects are significant, but we’ve established our company as an employer of choice and have implemented important strategies to attract and retain our skilled labour,” she says. “Surprisingly it’s not always about money. Recently, we modified rosters to a more family friendly nine-day-on, five-dayoff arrangement. “Our NT residents can also access an allowance to help with costs of living and we have a generous relocation policy. This has translated to a considerable reduction in turnover in the past 12 months.”


Underground Emergency Response training.

It’s not always about money. We’ve established Crocodile Gold as an employer of choice and have implemented important strategies to attract and retain our skilled labour. KAREN BROWN, HR MANAGER. When it comes to its onsite villages, Crocodile Gold puts emphasis on its workplace culture to support happy and productive employees. “We’re a smaller company; therefore we tend to have a stronger culture as we strive to make everyone in our team know they are valued and key to our success,” Brown says. “Our employees work and live onsite for longer periods than they are at home, so ensuring they are happy and comfortable is a major factor in retention. “Both of our camps boast recreational facilities such as a gym, swimming pool, recreation room, tennis court and oval. “An employee social club organises numerous activities such as soccer matches between our geology and mining teams, which builds a sense of mateship and camaraderie whilst onsite.” Crocodile Gold Inc is a Canadian-based corporation that has another Australian subsidiary, CGA, operating two Victorian underground gold mines near Bendigo and Stawell. But it is the Northern Territory entity’s flagship asset, Cosmo Deep mine, and its exploration of surrounding deposits that is putting the company on the minerals map. Crooks adds that amid the economic strength of the Territory and with vast exploration tenements on its side, the miner is only just beginning to strike gold. “We have a clearly communicated strategic plan to develop our Northern Territory assets and will consistently expand our large portfolio of new mines,” he says. Crocodile Gold’s investment in Australia has been a successful move for the international company and a shining example of the potential the country’s northern region holds.

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KPMG discredits negative FIFO discourse THE FIRST EVER study into long distance commuting has revealed less than a quarter of Australia’s Fly in Fly Out (FIFO) and Drive in Drive Out (DIDO) workforce is directly employed in the mining industry. The findings appear to discredit the 2013 Parliamentary Committee Report into FIFO working arrangements, which argued the long-distance employees created social and regional development issues, and identified the resource sector as the predominant employer of long distance commuters. To the contrary, KPMG’s Analysis of the Long Distance Commuter Workforce found that of Australia’s 10 million-strong workforce, only 2.1% commit to long-distance employment opportunities – an increase of only 1.7% since 2006. Of those, less than a quarter work within the Australian resource industry. Noting the positive KPMG findings, AMMA executive director industry Scott Barklamb says the federal government’s FIFO Committee ‘clearly ignores the realities of working in the mining industry’. “After openly participating in what was supposed to be a considered and sensible discussion about the increase in FIFO and DIDO arrangements, we were very disappointed to read Committee Chair Tony Windsor refer to these activities as a ‘cancer’ in his report foreword,” says Barklamb.

“The ‘cancer vs. saviour’ dichotomy is unfortunate when we are trying to advocate for a middle ground that balances the essential use of FIFO work arrangements with community needs and residential workforces where appropriate. “Building a highly skilled, mobile workforce that can move with shifting industry demands should be the top priority. It should also be noted that FIFO and DIDO working arrangements are as much driven by employee lifestyle choices as by resource companies’ operational requirements. “This is notwithstanding that a comprehensive national study has now shown that long-distance commuting is just a small part of the Australian resource industry’s overall employment picture.” The KPMG study, which was co-funded by the Minerals Council of Australia, APPEA and Skills DMC, also found that Sydney was the top destination for long distance commuters. Australia’s largest city attracts about 64,000 FIFO/DIDO workers to its bustling economy, compared to around 44,600 mining workers to areas of resources activity in all states. These findings further reinforce the results of an AMMAcommissioned study by Edith Cowen University last year, which concluded that Australian resource employers face major labour mobility challenges in attracting skilled workers from east coast CBD areas.

RBA reframes resource employment outlook THE RESERVE BANK of Australia (RBA) has put to bed any contention around the full extent of flow-on benefits from Australia’s resource industry, with a research discussion paper estimating the sector accounts for $250 billion of the nation’s annual output and 1.1 million jobs. Industry Dimensions of the Resource Boom: An Input-Output Analysis by the RBA’s Economic Research Department has quantified the links between demand for Australia’s natural resources to activity in other domestic industries. The independent paper provides a rebuttal for those community and political groups that continually talk-down the wider benefits of the resource industry, with the RBA finding that ‘the spillovers from the resource sector to activity in other industries appear to be large’. “We estimate that the resource economy accounted for around 18% of gross value added (GVA) in 2011/12, which is double its share of the economy in 2003/04,” researchers Vanessa Rayner and James Bishop note in the report. “Of this, the resource extraction sector directly accounted for 11.5% of GVA. The remaining 6.5% of GVA can be attributed to the value added of industries that provide inputs to | Winter 2013 |

resource extraction and investment, such as business services, construction, transport and manufacturing.” The RBA researchers also found that resources activity comprised a great deal of flow-on employment creation in other sectors. For instance, 9% of the ‘business services’ sector’s GVA was directly attributed to the ‘resource economy’, meaning 9% of ‘business services’ employment, or 210 000 workers, have jobs because of the resource industry. “We estimate that 9.75% of total (Australian) employment in 2011/12 was engaged in servicing final demand for resource extraction and investment,” the report states. “The share of total employment accounted for by the resource economy is estimated to have doubled since the mid 2000s. Around two-fifths of this growth reflects the expansion in resource investment, which has increased demand for labour in resource-related construction and other industries that provide inputs to these investment projects.” According to AMMA CEO Steve Knott, the RBA report has highlighted ‘just how beneficial a strong resource industry is for long-term employment’.



JUNE Monday 17 – Tuesday 18 Informa Legal’s 7th Annual Workplace and Industrial Relations National Conference is a comprehensive two-day event dealing exclusively with industrial relations law. Covering recent overhauls of WHS legislation and the latest from the Fair Work Commission, the event provides a wider supplement to the resource industry specific knowledge available through AMMA. Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay. More info: Wednesday 5 – Friday 7 Mining IQ’s Mining Procurement and Supply APAC 2013 provides an opportunity to network and benchmark with your counterparts from across the APAC region, to ensure the procurement and supply chain management of your business is ready for the times ahead. Crown Perth, Burswood. More info:

JULY Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 31 AMMA’s mid-year Industry Forums will bring the latest resource industry IR, OHS, HR, migration and training information to your regional location. Delivered by an AMMA industry specialist who knows your region, the forums are essential to staying on top of important developments and networking with your industry peers and colleagues. Taking place in Perth (July 23); Adelaide (24); Melbourne (25); Hobart (26); Sydney (30); and Brisbane (31). More info: Tuesday 23 – Wednesday 24 The COO Leaders Mining Summit is Australia’s only event designed specifically for COO leaders from within Australia’s major mining companies to discuss and interact as one over a range of important issues currently facing the industry. Rendezvous Perth. More info:

AUGUST Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 The Diggers and Dealers Summit is popular mining conference that combines presentations by mining and exploration companies with exhibitors from the mining, exploration and service sectors. Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie. More info: Monday 5 – Wednesday 7 The 2013 APPEA National oil and Gas Safety Conferences & HSR Forum is an industry-driven event which will provide new insights, challenge your thinking, and share proven safety strategies for members of Australia’s oil and gas industry. Perth Crown, Burswood. More info: | Winter 2013 |

Wednesday 7 SkillsDMC’s 2013 Annual Conference is tailor-made for industry practitioners and government stakeholders across Australia to share best practices and shape future workforce planning policies and initiatives. The Westin, Sydney. More info: Thursday 8 & Thursday 15 AMMA’s 2013 Migration and International Labour Sourcing Conferences, held on the East and West Coasts, are the most comprehensive migration-related information and professional development events in Australia’s resource industry. Featuring political leaders, industry experts and legal practitioners, the 2013 events will be held in Brisbane on August 8 (Stamford Plaza Hotel) and Perth on August 15 (Hyatt Perth Hotel). More info: Wednesday 14 – Friday 16 The Rapid Development 2013 Conference focuses on ‘Enabling the Future Mine’ – this event is renowned for exploring new and current innovations in mining technology and practice. Sydney Harbour Marriott at Circular Quay. More info at: Rapid-Development-2013.asp Tuesday 20 – Friday 23 Known as the number one mining industry technology showcase for the Asia-Pacific Region, the AIMEX 2013 Exhibition is a showcase of newest technologies, equipment and services for all sectors of the resource industry. Sydney Showground. More info:

SEPTEMBER Friday 6 After strong feedback on the inaugural 2012 event, AMMA’s Tasmania Conference will again facilitate engagement with industry leaders and policy makers as we address both issues unique to the southern state and those resonating throughout the resource sector as a whole. Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart. More info: Friday 20 For the first time AMMA is extending its popular serious of annual state-based conference to South Australia, a state with a strong legacy of minerals mining activity which remains the home of many significant Australian projects today. Featuring keynote speakers and industry leaders, this conference broaches issues exclusive to South Australia as well as nation-wide issues. Venue TBC. More info at:





The AWRA e-Mentoring Program Support women in the resource industry

The AWRA e-Mentoring Program is a practical way to encourage the participation and advancement of women in the resource, allied and construction industries in Australia where remote location and complex rosters are a barrier to participating in traditional mentoring programs. Participants in the program communicate with each other through an online platform as well as email, chat, Skype and phone. Expert advice and guidance is provided along the way to ensure participants get the most from the experience. Sign up to be a mentor today and assist a woman to reach her full potential while also developing professional and personally. The AWRA e-Mentoring program needs experienced men and women in the industry to share their knowledge with mentees. The AWRA e-Mentoring Program is delivered by AMMA and funded by the Australian Government through the National Resources Sector Workforce Strategy. Register Today


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DISCOUNTED HEALTH INSURANCE FOR MINING & RESOURCES At nib we believe health insurance should be easy to understand, easy to use and above all great value. Newcastle Industrial Benefits (now known as ‘nib’) was founded 60 years ago to provide health insurance for the workers of BHP Steelworks and their families. You could even say the resources sector is in our blood. We’ve come a long way since 1952. These days nib is one of Australia’s fastest growing health funds now covering over 850,000 people. We have a network of recognised providers, retail centres and nib agreement private hospitals throughout Australia. nib is excited to launch nib Resources - specifically catering for the corporate health needs of the mining and resources sector. nib Resources can offer you and your employees: • An extensive range of domestic health cover. We’ll help you choose the right health cover to suit you and your employees. We’ll also provide a dedicated nib Account Manager to look after the day-to-day business of your corporate health plan • Health cover for overseas visitors living and working in Australia on 457 and other working visas • Your choice of a fully-subsidised, partially-subsidised or voluntary corporate health plan • Health and wellbeing programs are available at your request • We’re happy to negotiate a discount on the covers available in your nib Resources product range.

Getting started is easy Simply get in touch with Samantha Edmunds your nib Resources Business Development Manager ph: 0419 710 501 email:

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RESOURCE PEOPLE Issue 004 | Winter 2013  

RESOURCE PEOPLE Issue 004 | Winter 2013