0328 Drilling Industry Reference Commitee

General information

Submitterʼs name
Drilling Industry Reference Commitee
Submitted on behalf of
Professional body or industry association

About the submission

Are you an Australian assessing authority for migration purposes?
Please select the industry your submission is in relation to. If required, you may select multiple industries.
Other Services
Do you have a particular regional interest? If required, you may select multiple regions.



1. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)?


2. Do you consider that occupations need to be added to the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?


What occupations do you recommend should be added to the STSOL?

Please also include occupations that you propose should be moved be moved from the MLTSSL to the STSOL.

712211 Driller

Please outline the evidence or data that would support these occupations being added to the STSOL.

Industry is reporting a tightening supply of drillers for the first time since the end of the last mining boom in 2012. This is being caused by a pick-up in demand for drilling rigs as more rigs go back to work due to a sustained increase in mineral and bulk commodity prices. State Governments are also stimulating exploration demand via their own funding models such as the EIS in Western Australia, CEI in Queensland and PACE in South Australia. The Federal Government has also announced the new Junior Mineral Exploration Tax Credit scheme which is also expected to incentivize further new exploration.
Recent statistics published by the ABS confirm the increasing trend in exploration in both expenditure and in metres drilled. Exploration by trend in the June quarter 2017 was $428.5m, which is 23.5% higher than the corresponding period in 2016. This exploration expenditure trendline is shadowed closely by the number of drill rigs operating in the Australian market.
On average, each operating drilling rig in Australia employs 10-12 people. Drilling is not an occupation where a person can gain qualifications in a classroom and then transit successfully to employment as a competent driller. Drilling requires experience that can only be accomplished by working hands-on in the sector.
The Drilling IRC sees a strong industry need for Drillers to be placed back onto the visa list. The ADIA have surveyed 10 of their members who between them employ around 1,200 drillers and drill offsiders. These companies would prefer to train and develop internally, but cannot attract sufficient qualified personnel or develop them in the timeframe needed. The majority do expect that they will be able to fill some of the vacant positions locally, however 70 of the 120 vacancies could be filled by temporary skilled migration. This may not seem like a significant number, however it is likely to delay another 50 drill rigs from commencing work, impeding the overall exploration needs of the country

3. Do you consider that occupations need to be removed from the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSSL) or the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)?

Do you have any supporting material for your submission?
Yes (see attachments)

These files have not been modified and are published as supplied

If you have trouble accessing this document, please contact the Department to request a copy in a format you can use.

Last modified on Thursday 18 January 2018 [40671|101721]