FAQs for Businesses

What does the Goldfields DAMA mean for local businesses, and does it present any opportunities? The below FAQs may help to address these and other immediate questions for local business owners and operators.

Why do we need DAMA for the Goldfields region?
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, along with the Shires of Coolgardie, Leonora and Menzies, are working tirelessly with the support of the Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Australia, Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KBCCI), and Regional Development Australia Goldfields-Esperance, to attract Australian workers to the Goldfields region over the last few years with minimal success. Kalgoorlie Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry held a Kal Job Expo in March 2018, promoting over 1,000 job vacancies ready to be filled by the 1,000 job seekers who attended the Expo. However, only 30 families moved to the Goldfields after securing positions through the Expo. This is a good outcome from the Expo, but a lot more is needed if the City is to transform into a more economically diverse powerhouse, and address labour shortages in the long term.
A Fly-in, Fly-out workforce is not a solution to supplement skilled labour shortages, as the City’s preferred option is a residential workforce. A residential workforce will help grow the City’s population aspiration to 40,000 by 2030, provide a long-term stability to businesses and enable businesses growth. The Department of Training and Workforce Development recent labour market report estimated that around 334 (or 51 per cent) out of the 648 jobs listed on Seek for the Goldfields-Esperance region in October 2017 are mining related. Impact modelling undertaken using REMPLAN Economy estimates that if 334 jobs in a mining related field were filled today, then this would support a further 234 jobs in supply-chain sectors and 171 in consumption related activity.  That is, for every direct job created in mining related sectors, a further 2 jobs are supported in the broader local economy once flow-on supply-chain and consumption effects are taken into consideration. Today there is over 480 mining related jobs out of the 800 jobs advertised for the Goldfields-Esperance region on Seek

Other supporting reasons for the Goldfields DAMA include: 
  • The population in Kalgoorlie-Boulder is slowly declining, from a peak of 33,267 in 2013 to 29,469 in 2019.
  • There is now increasing competition for skilled workers within the Goldfields region, and from other regional cities around Western Australia because of new mines and increasing commodity prices.
  • We are also competing for skilled workers with Perth’s $1.1 billion Metronet project, and interstate cities who are also constructing and upgrading $30 plus billion worth of major infrastructure and rail projects.
  • With the National Disability Insurance Scheme rollout, it was estimated that the Goldfields-Esperance region would have 275 direct and indirect jobs by 2019-20.
  • In January 2018, it was estimated around 318 children were on the waiting list for full-time and part-time care because there is not enough childcare workers in Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
  • More skilled labour workers are needed to increase apprenticeship and traineeship, including Aboriginal traineeship, intakes. We need more skilled workers to be able to train more apprentices, trainees, and upskill young people and local workforce in the Goldfields-Esperance region. 
In 2021, three additional Shires i.e. the Shires of Dundas, Esperance and Ravensthorpe joined the Goldfields DAMA program. Please contact dama@ckb.wa.gov.au for more information.
What occupations are included in the Goldfields DAMA?
The Goldfields DAMA secured 125 occupations across multiple industries in February 2021. The DAMA is not just targeted at mining and heavy industry jobs.  The approved list of skilled workers includes jobs such as childcare workers, farmers and disability worker to help fill the shortages in these industries. A complete list of occupations is available here.
What does the DAMA application process involve?
The DAMA application process is fairly rigorous, as the employer needs to demonstrate that the job cannot be filled by an Australian.This includes evidence that the job was advertised (via website, print media or radio) in Australia for at least 28 days unsuccessfully over the last four months. It also requires the skilled migrant to undertake a skills assessment, demonstrating their competence and qualifications, as well as an English language test.
Is my business eligible to sponsor an overseas worker through the Goldfields DAMA?
Businesses can access the Goldfields DAMA if they are actively operating in the Goldfields DAMA region (i.e. Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Coolgardie, Dundas, Esperance, Leonora, Menzies or Ravensthorpe) and meet the following criteria:
  • financially viable and have been operating for at least 12 months
  • have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees
  • are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the Goldfields DAMA list (see Quick Links)
  • can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.
Note: The Goldfields DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program and individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently.
Do workers who migrate through the DAMA have to reside in the Goldfields?
Yes. The DAMA aims not only to help grow the communities of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and the Goldfields, but to actively combat Fly In, Fly Out (FIFO) workforces around the region. All workers immigrating to Australia under the DAMA are required to live and work in the region.
What are the costs associated with a DAMA application?
All DAMA applications will incur an up-front processing fee of $250 per nomination. If approved, employers may also have to assist with the costs of relocating the skilled migrant to the Goldfields as part of the agreement. No sponsorship or financial assistance will be provided from the Government or other partners to the Goldfields DAMA to assist overseas workers to relocate. Always check the Department of Home Affairs website for updated visa cost and SAF levy.
How many applications for the Goldfields DAMA will be endorsed in the first year?
Around 500 approved nominations for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482), Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) or  Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (SESR) (subclass 494) visas will be endorsed for the Goldfields DAMA. The number of occupations and nominations in following years is to be renegotiated with the Federal Minister, following an annual review.
When will applications for the DAMA open, and who will assess them?
The Goldfields DAR has accepted Goldfields DAMA endorsement applications since 1 July 2019. As the Designated Area Representative (DAR) holder of the Goldfields DAMA, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder will be accepting and assessing applications in partnership with the Office of Home Affairs. If you are business and ready to apply, please visit here
As a skilled worker, can I apply to migrate to the Goldfields under the DAMA?
No. The Goldfields DAMA is an employer-sponsored visa program and individual workers cannot apply for a visa independently. To help find suitable employers please visit Seek website and apply for the job(s) directly. 

Unfortunately, the Goldfields DAR do not create or keep list of businesses who are searching for skilled migrants. We also do not offer job-matching services to potential Skilled Migrants. It is up to the individual to reach out to businesses about any opportunities, and apply for the jobs directly.
Is there age limit on the applicant for the Goldfields DAMA labour agreement stream?
A TSS visa holder does not have an age limit, however workers aspiring to access the permanent residence pathway through the ENS or SESR visa must be aware that this has an age limit of 49 years old (cannot have turned 50) for skill level 2 to 4 occupation, or an age limit of 54 years old (cannot have turned 55) for skill level 1 occupation at time of permanent residence nomination. Click here for occupation lists. 
Who can I contact for more information?

Goldfields DAMA Members:  City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Shire of Coolgardie Shire of Leonora  Shire of Menzies  Chamber of Minerals and Energy Western Austrlalia  Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chamber of Commerce and Industry  Regional Development Australia