Rinehart’s Roy Hill remains focused on Australian mining jobs

Despite rallies against her call for foreign miners, Gina Rinehart says her Roy Hill iron ore mine is still focused on giving Australians jobs.

The protests are part of a backlash against Rinehart's push for more than 1700 foreign workers at her Roy Hill project, with her company stating that foreign workers are vital to Australia's mining future.

Thousands of workers yesterday marched on WA Parliament and Hancock Prospecting's Perth office yesterday protesting the use of foreign labour and chanting 'Gina Rinehart's full of sh*t'.

Led by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union and the Maritime Union of Australia, the protest targeted enterprise migration agreements and Rinehart's move to bring 1,700 skilled migrants to the Roy Hill mine in the Pilbara.

CFMEU mining division secretary Gary Woods told protestors mining companies needed to do more to train local workers before looking to skilled migration.

However Rinehart has now refuted these claims.

Writing in the July edition of Australian Resources and Investment she said "more than $1.3 billion has already been spent on the project, of which more than 83% has gone to West Australian, or Australian companies.

"This is over the average of 72% for most other big resource projects."

Rinehart went on to reiterate the importance of foreign workers however, stating that "the 1715 temporary skilled overseas workers for the remote, hot Pilbara are actually just a small fraction of the 100 000 such workers entering Australia each year.

"Moreover, they give is the guaranteed labour we need for a project that will give jobs to 6700 Australians during construction, and to more than 1000 afterwards.

"These are sustainable jobs that won't exist unless we can get sufficient labour for construction."