The Labor government has dealt with the controversies that arose in the aftermath of the enterprise migration agreement (EMA) extended to the Roy Hill iron ore project owned by Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart.
The EMA gave the go-ahead for Ms Rinehart to contract up to 1,700 foreign workers in the construction phase of the $9.5-billion mine, in the process earning the ire of local labour unions and giving another platform for the Coalition to score the economic policies of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said on Tuesday that while he was not oppose to the practicality of employing overseas workers on crucial Australian mining projects in the absence of local skilled workers, the handling of the matter, to him, was just lacklustre.
"Julia Gillard couldn't even get this right," Mr Abbott was quoted by The Herald Sun as saying.
Yet it turned out that the EMA handed to Ms Rinehart was decided upon by the Labor cabinet and acted on by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen when Ms Gillard was out of the country attending the NATO summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama in Chicago.
The whole scenario threw the Labor caucus scampering mode to look for ways to resolve the complications spawned by the affair - the suggestion that Ms Gillard was kept out of the loop on an important policy decision and the wrath that labour unions felt when the EMA was announced.
But in this morning's caucus, 17 Labor key leaders agreed on resolutions that the ruling party said will benefit Australia's local workforce as well as the country's business interests.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the caucus agreed that the EMA matter was mishandled in some degree and key Labor figures were inadvertently left in the dark, a mistake that in the future will be corrected by a newly formed sub-committee.
Its main task is to brief Labor MPs of EMA's future implementation, media reports said, which the caucus has unanimously approved.
In an interview with ABC, Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten said he supports an EMA that "ensures that Australians get first crack at the jobs and where that is not possible."
Companies, Mr Shorten added, should only resort to EMA "once we have established that there's no Australians who are available to do the work at the time that the project is coming online."
"We just want to make sure that the mining companies have done what they can do to ensure that Australians get first go," the senior Labor minister stressed.
Labor MPs were hopeful, The Herald Sun said, that the caucus this morning would heal the wounds created by the mishandling of the affair.
But it was unclear if the Labor meet had addressed the annoyance reportedly felt by Ms Gillard, who was technically bypassed when the policy was unfurled Friday last week by the Immigration Ministry.
The issue emerged alongside with speculations that some Labor MP's were being wooed into a move within the party that allegedly would attempt to resurrect former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd into the top spot of Labor's leadership.
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