In a nutshell: 457 Visas and Liberal ideology


Yesterday, the Liberal coalition blocked proposed changes to 457 visa regulations that would’ve protected Australian workers by making sure companies employed them before sourcing labour from overseas, skilled or unskilled.

They claimed it was because “the government moved to rush through legislation without consulting employer groups”.

The Liberal party obviously consulted them, the result?

No Australian has an automatic right to employment in Australia.

The asylum seeker debate is a smokescreen, designed to make you lose focus and forget who is really taking your job!

The media run stories of a few people that were employed in Australia on temporary 457 visas, usually in remote communities or with specialist skills that have stayed on in Australia and integrated into society. It promotes the view that these visas are for the benefit of us all, but the reality is nothing like that.

These “temporary work visas” are just that, temporary. Usually, but not always, they are exploited by companies that have contracts lasting for a limited period of time, resource infrastructure, large construction projects etc…

Everything from crane operations, general labouring and catering, as well as professional services can fall under the blanket of a “skills shortage”, no job is safe. When the project ends, their employees return to their own countries, jobless and without the employer being burdened with redundancy payments or any other future obligations towards them.

With thanks to The Daily Telegraph Pole Facebook group for the above article.

35 comments on “In a nutshell: 457 Visas and Liberal ideology

  1. A few months ago, workers in Melbourne attempted to blockade a site which had employed three Filipina’s as welders. The blockade was declared illegal by the Victorian government (gosh, what a surprise). What was more telling was the interview with the site manager who defended the company’s decision by saying; “They do what they’re told, and they don’t ask for breaks.” Says it all really.

  2. nil, from the previous thread

    I actually agree there are problems with 457 visas but find it strange Labor all of a sudden mentions this

    They mention it when the data comes forward that tells them there was a problem. If the data isn’t there, and, even with all of the examples, like the one I mentioned in the other thread, and the one edward eastwood mentions above, the opposition and their media mates are still claiming there is no problem.

  3. What do you think about this??

    I don’t really have a problem with students, who are already paying a very high cost for education here, being allowed to compete with Australians for jobs. We invited them and are happy to take their money for study. This is in no way similar to importing somebody who will work cheaper than a local worker for no other reason that they will bring down labour costs

  4. “If the data isn’t there”

    How do you know it isn’t?? After 5 years they find out problems?? Mate your BS detector has been turned off.

  5. Reblogged this on beingcoralie and commented:
    have no problem with 457s just dislike the thought that they are being used and abused, with no thought about the employed person and their rights OR the Aussie that may have been able to do the job.

  6. “Labor do not have an issue on using 457 visas. They have an issue with using 457 visas inappropriately. A highly specialized professional such a McTern? doesn’t fall into the same category as using diesel mechanics from overseas when local ones are available”

    You guys must be joking. “A highly specialised professional”. If McTernan is such a highly specialised professional as a communications / media advisor why is Gillard having such problems with media and communications ???

    And why was his position not given to an Aussie when local workers are available . . . . it’s because his ’employer’ chose to put their own needs above those of Australian workers . . . so it’s a case of do as I say, not as I do ???

  7. “How do you know it is?”

    Common sense. In fact i would have thought the problems being mentioned would have been know about the day Labor took office in 2007.

    I suspect there is some dog-whistling going on. Especially when there are many people in this country who could do a better job than McTurd.

    But i think this could be worse

    THOUSANDS more foreign students will get the green light to compete with young Australians for jobs next week, when Julia Gillard’s “Aussie-first” government expands a back-door work visa scheme.”

    I wouldn’t like to compete with several hundred thousand foreign students for a job. Especially if i had busted my guts for 8 years to get a PhD and then find the job market flooded.

    And by the way these students comprise a large number of the asylum seekers who fly in. After getting a degree they try and get permanent residency. If that fails they lie, apply for asylum and say it is dangerous for them to go home.

  8. I have a little bit of knowledge on the workings and requirements of 457 Temporary Work Visas, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme and also the Employer Migration Scheme and also a few other 400 series schemes that have been developed.

    My first exposure was as an employer and the latest was when I undertook the contract to develop a company in Perth that due to the relevant skill shortage had to formulate a mix of EMS and aboriginal training/apprentices to meet the stated requirements as set out by the legislation.

    I tell you now…would rather have employed Australians as it would have been less of an expense.

    If I had the time I would outline the long and expensive process.

  9. And why was his position not given to an Aussie

    Maybe hard to find anyone with ‘media’ in their title that hasn’t already been corrupted by Murdoch?

  10. …………..2:13pm: It’s been one of those mornings.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is now speaking in the House of Representatives about the government’s changes to 457 visa.

    “True love for this country is expressed by trying to unite us, not by trying to divide us,” Mr Abbott says. “True patriotism means putting the nation first….This bill is false patriotism from a failing government.”

    “We appreciate our debt to the migrants of this country, we appreciate everyone who has come to this country the right way,” Mr Abbott continues. “Never, never, never will you find any attempt from this country to say there are first class and second class Australians.”

    Reporter Daniel Hurst has this update on where the bill is up to. Its passing is by no means………….

    Read more:

  11. 457 workers won,jt be union members so if they complain about conditions or risks to safety they can be sacked and deported. Gina and her mates love an un unionsiised workforc

  12. I left a message for Leigh Sales, suggesting that Emerson might be correct. We are fed up with leadership talk and would rather hear about what the PM and leader of the Opposition are doing, and, yes, policies.

    Suggest that she leaves her scripted questions behind, listen to the answers, and take her next question from there.

    Might not get the results she is after, but may get the truth.

    We should not ignore the power of email. Old fashion now, but hard to ignore. Comment on blogs, but sometimes send a copy direct.

  13. Pingback: 457 visa changes; nationalistic, short sighted, or just plain racist? #auspol | Red Earth Blue Sky

  14. Such compassion for the underdog you have and I must applaud you for trying to protect those foreign workers against exploitation. I’m sure those Chinese chefs working for $5 a day in China will be happy that you have protected them being paid $30 an hour in Australia.

    I’m proud of the mark that Australians have made on the international stage. Working abroad is something I have done and which has resulted in win win outcomes for me and the country I’ve worked in. Do you suppose that it is morally justified to continue to expect foreign countries to let us work in their countries but shut their door to their nationals?

  15. It is a matter of fairness. Clearly Australians should be employed and trained first above those from other countries. In addition, there was previously a lot of exploitation of such people, for example women brought to Australia on 457 visas and then expected to work as prostitutes. They were told that if they did not comply that they would be sacked, have their visas cancelled and be returned home. There was quite a scandal about this in Victoria.

    As far as tradies go, many simply cannot work to Australian standards.

  16. redearthbluesky, we have never had open door policy when it comes to immigration, well not since th we second world war.

    In my life. there has always been limits set. There has always been different categories.

    We have built into our general system, points for skill and education among other things. There are categories for sponsored migrants.

    We have our tourist visas that allow one to work.

    We have the 457, that are aimed at filling skill vacancy, that cannot be filled from the available work force. They are supposed to be temporary.

    Are you saying, that our workforce should be open to all comers, from across the globe.

    If that is the case, why are you not out. demanding, those who came by boat, many educated or skilled, be immediately allow out, and to be allowed to work.

    Ensuring that employers prove they have attempted to find workers within this country before bringing others in,

    Are you saying we leave our workers on unemployment benefits, while these workers are flown in. That is occurring in some cases now. Men, that have never had trouble finding work.

  17. @redearthbluesky, there are many forms of visa that allow a person to legally work in Australia. The 457 visa issue is not about stopping foreign nationals from working in this country. It’s about the right of Australians to apply for a job and have a reasonable chance of getting it, based on qualifications,and experience. You claim the writer lacks compassion and choose a spurious line of reasoning to back this; “Chinese chefs working for $5 a day”… May I ask you how much a can of soft drink costs in China? How much is the average home loan, compared to one in Australia? These chefs you speak of, they still have to find somewhere to live in Australia, yes? Pay rent, buy food, clothing, perhaps a few luxuries, maybe even enjoy some time off to see our wonderful country… Could you do any of that on $30 a day? This is about exploitation and it’s a shame you can;t see that, but it isn’t just your Chinese chef that’s being exploited, it’s your child that may want an apprenticeship in that eatery and can’t get a start because it’s too expensive to train and nurture a young persons skills, when someone from overseas will work for $30 a day (your figure). Maybe it’s your husband/wife, a fully qualified chef in Chinese cuisine.

    Who will be left to eat in these establishments if all the jobs in Australia are open to abuse of 457 visas?

  18. Fed Up,

    I am saying that I am proud of the 1,000,000 or Australians who are working abroad in very significant roles and I respect how win win win outcomes for them, for Australia and for the host country as a result. Likewise, I appreciate how win win win outcomes are achieved when we allow skilled migration to Australia when an Australian employer is prepared to provide a job. We are not Spain here with a massive unemployment rate.

    Would you propose banning Mike Pyke from the AFL because he is taking the job of an Australian? Chris Gayle from the Big Bash? Would you propose that a Japanese kitchen hand with ambitions to become the next Tetsuya Wukada be denied a visa?
    You make me feel embarrassed to be an Australian and certainly do little to endear me to the patriotism that you try to use to justify your pathetic small minded and backwards arguments.You wankers belong in the a by-gone age.

  19. Anthony Andrews, my figure was $30 an hour, not a day. A can of soft drink in China is about $1. Its expensive so most get by with water or long necks of beer (about 50 cents. I love that!) We live in a global market and many prices for global brands are pretty similar no matter which country you live in.

    If it is about exploitation, how about we listen to the voices of people who want the visa or who have been on the visa, rather than your voice that claims to fight for them.

  20. redearthbluesky, I bet you are not taking the job of a local.

    That is all that one is saying.

    Put locals first.

    We already have enough jobs going off shore, let alone, letting them come here, to push us aside.

  21. Min, “As far as tradies go, many simply cannot work to Australian standards.” ….. and your , of course, talking about Tradies other than Australian Tradies…. 🙄 …. IMO and experience…. Australian Tradies pay lip-service to WHS (OHS) …. the “Standard” has been lowered year on year…. along with the quality of workmanship….. if you want quality… if you want a job to the ‘standard’ as provided by law, you either throw a lot of money at ‘it’ …..or you get a public servant to do the ‘job’……..part of my job is to fix up/clean up/repair/replace what an contractor has done on the cheap…. yup, lets privatise everything and sack PS’s…. but, hey… ya get what ya paid for.. 🙄

  22. Sorry, redearthbluesky, my mistake on the $30 a day/hour, although my point holds true.
    You continue to point to individuals in specialist roles ( a football player, the kitchen hand to soon be the next big chef), but your point overlooks all the jobs that Australians have a right to do in their own country and are not even given a look in because someone has already been selected from overseas to fill that role.
    This is not racism or misdirected patriotism, it is just trying to ensure that Australian workers get to share in the wealth of our nation.
    Why is this so wrong?

  23. Australia’s government has announced plans to work with employers under Emergency Migration Agreements (EMAs) to bring in temporary skilled workers from overseas to fill the gaps in the labour market created by the country’s mining boom. EMAs will be for ‘mega’ projects only – those costing at least $2 billion to build and employing more than 1,500 workers. All overseas workers employed under EMAs will be on 457 visas (Temporary Business Long Stay) and must be paid at least as well as an Australian doing the same job.

  24. Fed and Anthony,

    Your patriotic arguments are silly considering that we are all Australians but you two wouldn’t give me a job because I wont vote for Gilard and I wouldn’t give either of you a job because I respect people who have a strong work ethic, try to improve themselves and have a worldly outlook, and you obviously lack that.

    The idea of me not getting a job because a foreigner has superior skills would bother me less than not getting a job because I don’t vote for Gillard or being overlooked due to some other superficial trait.

    Employing someone from overseas brings with it a lot of inconveniences that don’t apply when employing a local so employers only do it when they really need to. In short, the foreigners really do need to be significantly more suitable for employers to go through the hassle.

    If you disagree, how about you come up with some examples of where a well qualified Australian with a strong work ethic has been overlooked for a job in favour of a foreigner?

    This is really a question a values. Do we believe our economy can be enhanced by respecting that cultures outside of Australia have individuals with skills, knowledge bases and aptitudes that can enhance Australia or do we build walls because we can’t compete? Like you, Alfred Deaken had the attitude that since Asians were superior, we need to keep them out. In his own words:

    “It is not the bad qualities, but the good qualities of these alien races that make them so dangerous to us. It is their inexhaustible energy, their power of applying themselves to new tasks, their endurance and low standard of living that make them such competitors.”

    I do not believe your position is a patriotic one because it weakens my country by appealing to the ugly cultural legacy of our past that has lingered in some sections of the present.

  25. One example – IT. See last night’s 7.30 Report for details of abuses.

    HAYDEN COOPER: But current and former TCS staff have told 7.30 that the Indian based IT power house is addicted to 457s.

    HAYDEN COOPER: Is this a company that over uses 457 visas?

    FORMER TCS WORKER: I believe it did. I was never asked to advertise for any Australians when developers were required. We just contacted the local area manager and he would send a developer on the next plane from Mumbai.

    I see no problem filling short term shortages with these workers, but to not even advertise locally – abuse of the system.

  26. Bacchus, do you realise, under present legislation, the employer does not have to demonstrate or even look for local workers.

  27. Chardonnay Bacchus,

    Just discovered another example of visa rotting. The wallabies were coached by a foreigner last night! I think I remember some noise about 5 years ago by union supporters saying that all coaching jobs should go to Australians. I suppose they relented because Deans is white. Would Australia have employed a black South African or Fijian as coach? But credit where credit is due. Union has made baby steps.

    Anyway, all that ugly nationalism we see in union just shows that we should not stereotype all people by the groups they associate with. In short, some individuals can rise above them. Let’s not forget Abbott was a union player but he was able to rise above the code’s racism to oppose the 457 visas when a similar argument was put to him. You still seen to be a product of your culture. Maybe it is just a generational thing. Abbott seems younger than you. (Sorry if I’ve been listening to too many left wingers on the Abc criticizing old white men. I guess even I can be a victim of cultural prejudice.)



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