Aurizon has flatly rejected claims by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) that the Company is actively recruiting overseas train drivers in preference to locally trained drivers.
In 2014 Aurizon undertook an exhaustive but unsuccessful recruitment process in Western Australia to source local drivers for its WA operations. This was at a time when there was high demand for train drivers in the resources sector in the region.
To address this shortfall in the Western Australian labour market and meet customer needs, an agreement was put in place which saw Aurizon source a small number of drivers from overseas.
The 2014 agreement provided these particular employees the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. This agreement has since expired so a new agreement was put in place in June 2016 specifically for the purpose of allowing the 11 employees covered by the original agreement to apply for permanent residency.
These arrangements were not for the hiring of more overseas workers. Aurizon does not have a business requirement to source international train drivers. We have not used and have no plans to use labour agreements for this purpose in Queensland.