Shalini Pratap can't hire help.
Her and her husband's business, Air Freeze Refrigeration, is one of many in the region that cannot attract and keep staff, both skilled and unskilled.
Added to that, their second business The Corner Shack had 80 to 90 applicants for an untrained position before the pandemic.
Having to fill it again once JobSeeker kicked in across September and October, they had zero interest - for exactly the same position.
"Then once people had to look for work to meet their requirements, we had 20 to 30 applications and when we called them back, they were all unavailable," Mrs Pratap explained.
They've had three positions advertised for qualified mechanics and electricians, listed on SEEK and other popular employment sites, since the start of 2020 until the pandemic ramped up in March. In that time they've had not two, not one, but zero applications.
"We offer above award rates, vehicles, flexible work hours, they are good positions," she claims.
Advertising again and again through different channels, Mrs Pratap said she finally had one bite but the worker left within three months.
Poached, she said, from a mine who could afford to offer more money.
"We are a small company, and while we pay good rates we cannot even think to compete against what the mines offer," she lamented.
We are a small company, and while we pay good rates we cannot even think to compete against what the mines offer.Shalini Pratap
According to SEEK's senior customer and analytics manager Leigh Broderick, the mining industry currently needs maintenance positions filled, following on from the construction job peak in the 2010s.
"We're talking about the core trades of electricians, fitters and turners, welders and boiler makers, which are linked to activity in construction as well as Mining," he said.
Despite the process of hiring overseas help being more expensive, Mrs Pratap now has two applications to get workers from Fiji over to the country music capital.
"It's a three year visa and we will be sponsoring them. They are both from Fiji ... but we don't know how long we have to wait to get them over here," she explained.
With COVID-19, the logistics of getting them here are problematic.
Especially because they are not classified as on the demand list alongside doctors, nurses, social workers, she said.
Mrs Pratap knows they won't be here to help finish off this "crazy busy" summer season, but hopes by the end of winter and the next heat wave they'll be ready for action.