A southern Queensland council says it's considering hiring overseas workers to cope with the skills shortage created by the mining industry.
ABC Rural reports Western Downs mayor Ray Brown said the council was joining other non-mining businesses in investigating foreign workers because of the amount of staff they were losing to mining.
Brown said he was aware of agricultural businesses that had already hired foreign workers and there were "massive shortfalls across many industries".
He said mining companies also needed to be held responsible for their development and ensure they had enough workers to fill their expansions.
"They will have to make sure they've got apprentices and trainees on place too instead of poaching off our existing service industries," he said.
Brown said some earth moving contractors in Queensland had to pay the same rates as the mining sector, which was a "huge cost" on some businesses.
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