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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1377 asked in the Legislative Council on 21 November 2019 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

GOLDFIELDS MIGRANT EMPLOYMENT PROJECT

1377. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the Minister for Regional Development:

I refer to the goldfields migration employment program and the minister's response to my question without notice 1243 from last year.

(1) Can the minister provide an update on the pilot program that the state government developed in an attempt to encourage people to move to the regions, specifically —

(a) the total cost of the program to date, with a tabled breakdown of costs;

(b) how many people have participated in the pilot program; and

(c) how many people have moved to regional Western Australia as a result?

(2) Does the minister accept that the government's decision to reinstate Perth as a regional city will have a negative impact on regions such as Kalgoorlie, which is in the process of implementing a designated area migration agreement?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. I know that she shares the enthusiasm of Hon Kyle McGinn and me for this very excellent program.

(1) The Goldfields–Esperance Development Commission and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development have awarded $249 960 in funding to this migration employment project, through the regional economic development—RED—grants program, and the Goldfields Community Legal Centre contributed $155 499 in kind to this project. The goldfields legal centre has so far received $120 000 and the total project spend from the RED grant is $26 710.74. A breakdown of that expenditure includes $22 810.65 for recruitment and migration settlement services, including employment events; $2 006.70 for travel and accommodation; $1 893.39 for regional promotional materials and activities; and the community legal centre has spent $20 138.

Since July 2019, when the project started, 150 people have been engaged in this project through employment events in Perth and 50 people over the phone and by email. The project has so far successfully relocated eight people—some with families—to the goldfields region, with 21 people in the pipeline currently negotiating work placements in the region. The project has only recently commenced and I expect these numbers to grow as interest in the region and its many employment opportunities grows. Indeed, an employment expo is being held next week on 28 November in Mirrabooka, which will engage with more people seeking employment in the regions.

(2) The state government does not accept that this designation will have a negative impact on Kalgoorlie–Boulder and migration attraction efforts. Indeed, the state government continues to actively support the relocation of workers to the goldfields region, where there are many jobs and a fantastic quality of life, and the goldfields migrant employment project has already demonstrated this.