ALP claims wages argument for job cuts ‘doesn’t hold water’

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten has claimed the argument wages at mines are to blame for the ongoing job cuts in the industry 'doesn't hold water'.

Mr Shorten told ABC Capricornia this morning that Wages growth is at one of its lowest rates we have seen in many, many recent years.

"The argument wages are the reasons why mines are closing I don't think quite holds water," he said.

"There has been considerable wage restraint.

"When we talk about wage restraint, why is it that the boards and the CEOs of large mining companies seem to talk about wage restraint for the men and women in the overalls driving the trucks and operating the machinery but still pull millions of dollars in salaries themselves.

"I'm a believer in wage restraint but I believe leadership starts at the top.

"Having said that, if we want to help retrain people affected by mining downturns, we have to be funding our TAFEs not closing them like we have seen the LNP government do and Liberals make training more expensive."

Mr Shorten also said that to counter the downturn in mining, the region needed to create a diverse economy and that was the reason why higher education needed to remain within financial reach for all.

"If we have a more educated workforce, we create more jobs outside mining so in the future we don't ride the roller-coaster of commodity prices."

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