Katharine Murphy June 08, 2012
RESOURCES giants will begin a new advertising campaign today - this time in support of a Gillard government policy.
The Minerals Council of Australia will launch a newspaper campaign in support of the government's policy to allow more temporary migration of skilled workers to serve the mining boom.
The council's move is designed to counter trade union anger over the government's recent decision to allow up to 1700 foreign workers to participate in Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill mine.
The council's full-page advertisements will run in The West Australian, the national press and suburban newspapers in the marginal electorate of Special Minister of State Gary Gray, who has been a target of trade union anger because of his strong advocacy of the policy.
The council has previously criticised some Labor policies and unleashed an advertising assault on the original resource super profits tax that was so successful it helped undo Kevin Rudd's prime ministership.
On the skilled migration issue, unions too have taken out newspaper ads targeting Mr Gray, whose electorate has a high youth unemployment rate.
The new Minerals Council advertisement doesn't mince words, suggesting xenophobia is behind some of the opposition to skilled migration. ''The loud and sometimes race-based opposition to temporary skilled migration is hard to understand,'' it says.
''There is a simple truth underlying the federal government's decision to increase skilled migration: without it, we won't be able to deliver the huge projects that will bring wealth and employment to Australia. And then everyone loses. How does that make any sense?''