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A spokesperson said the agreement was related to a limited number of employees and would not affect the situation in Queensland.
"In 2014 there was an agreement in place to address a shortage of skilled train drivers in the Western Australian labour market which saw Aurizon source a small number of drivers from overseas,” the spokesperson said.
"This 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 to specifically allow the 11 employees covered by the original agreement to apply for permanent residency.
"Aurizon does not have a business requirement to source international train drivers, and does not currently have an agreement in place for this purpose.
"We have not used and have no plans to use labour agreements for this purpose in Queensland.”
With news of the agreement being revealed just months after hundreds of Central Queensland workers were told they would be made redundant, Queensland Council of Unions Rockhampton secretary Craig Allen said the company should inform sacked workers of any new opportunities within Australia.
Mr Allen said the 2014 decision was "strenuously” opposed by the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.
"We still remain opposed to it,” he said.
He said the company, via their solicitors, did not respond to the opposition in 2014.
10AM: AURIZON could bring foreign train drivers to Australia, new Federal Government documents have revealed.
Aurizon's Western Australian subsidiary, Australia Western Railroad Pty Ltd, has been included in a list of new labour agreements released after calls for transparency of the visa system.
SBS is reporting that foreign workers could be offered permanent residency as part of the agreement.
Company-specific agreements can be made on a case-by-case basis where a "genuine skills or labour shortage for an occupation exists” and cannot be filled by Australian workers or other migration arrangements.
"Employers are required to have made recent, genuine efforts to recruit, employ or engage Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents,” the government's website states.
Train drivers are not on the Federal Government's list of eligible skilled occupations for 457 visas.
It comes after Aurizon announced in June it would close its Rockhampton rollingstock workshop resulting in the loss of 181 jobs.
Another 126 workers are expected to lose their jobs at Bluff, Gladstone and Stanwell, including train drivers.
The Morning Bulletin has contacted Aurizon for comment.
This article first appeared on www.themorningbulletin.com.au
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