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457 scams and system corruption in Australia

This is a huge scandal with far reaching serious National consequences and implications. The following represents my personal view on the 457 visa scandal and its ramifications. The recently exposed corruption is the last bit in the jig saw puzzle of my understanding. I cannot "prove" much of what follows, it is supposition not fact, but I believe that I am fairly close to the overall truth.

See also: Napthine complains that population growth outstrips job growth.

What I think is this This scandal, has huge far reaching serious National consequences and implications. With perhaps more serious consequences that anything we have previously seen in the history of the Nation.

1. The nub of the matter: There has been serious corruption involving Department of Immigration and Border Protection(DIBC) employees. (Fact)

Question 1. Why were the allegedly corrupt perpetrators allowed to return to India (with the loot)?
Question 2. Why has there been no obvious DIBC or Government response to internal reports of serious mismanagement going back to 2008?

Further background details here http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/visa-fraud-suspects-fled-after-wiring-1m-overseas-20140807-3dbmu.html and below http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/journalists-uncover-rampant-visa-fraud/5657050

This corruption does not come as a total surprise to me (or to DIBC). Corrupt procedures in the immigration industry have become almost standard procedure within the industry, and an essential and an accepted component of attaining the immigration numbers required. This is compounded by the impossibility of enforcing any compliance measures. In short, there has been tacit acceptance of corruption to further immigration goals. This is the problem.

I am suggesting that DIBC and this Government wish to close down publicity and Public discussion of this issue. (The previous Labour Government was equally culpable, and therefore they can be expected to support any cover up measures). Both major Parties have had involvement in misusing and abusing the immigration system for their own narrow advantage, mainly political, and over many years (decades), in ways which they would prefer the Public not to know about. (a more serious version of the recent Labour Government approach to HSU fraud and corruption issues).
This misuse may be of the types exemplified by the Slipper/Comcar/winetour or the Labour mates/Obeid/NSW Coal mine licences, (which though serious are fairly inconsequential in the long term, however they do set the tone) . Or they may be more serious, such as those they would be individually be held to account for, if matters became public, say through a Public or Judicial inquiry. Governments will avoid this at all costs (as with the HSU and Liberal party cash donation issues).

Put simply, I believe that there has been widespread political misuse and abuse of the immigration system mainly for political ends; but possibly also for other corrupt reasons, including financial corruption.

A test of Government intentions and its integrity will be whether there is a purposful response to obvious corruption within the Public Service. Similarly, whether the current 457 visa integrity Review (http://www.immi.gov.au/pub-res/Pages/reviews-and-inquiries/skilled-visa-programme.aspx) will address the corruption issue, and Government's possible response to this.

2. How did the current situation arise?

I suggest this started in about the mid to late nineteen eighties , when population boosting by immigration was introduced by PM Hawke (in 1985, after about 2 years in office) to boost immediate economic growth, (1989 had the highest immigration number since the World War). It is possible that Hawke was unaware of the longer term implications of his actions, but I doubt that his advisors (Treasury and the Public Service) were unaware. Perhaps, he was advised to ignore the long term consequences. Similarly the case with PM Fraser and the Vietnamese Boat people issue of the 1970's. Perhaps his only thoughts were "humanitarian".

Perhaps our Leaders were like that.

But once embarked on this National growth trajectory it became self perpetuating. (see also references below.)
This informal policy was picked up and enlarged by PM Howard (assisted by the resources boom) and later by PM Rudd (Big Australia) Governments.

It was a magic pudding policy, wherby benefits could be obtained ( and prizes bestowed) at no immediate, or only minor short term, cost. The perfect political formula. Since the major fiancial and social costs would be delayed for many years eg infrastructure and health/age care. Thus all the major costs were medium to long term and would be carried by others in the future (pass the parcel), and could safely be ignored in the short term.

The "magic pudding" approach was only achieved because of a refusal to conduct essential economic analysis and risk asessment. There was no critical examination of the justifications. Successive Governments, Ministries and Departments and the Media (including our fearless ABC) have done everything possible to avoid essential analysis; in fact they have impeded and disrupted analysis, partly through using selective inquiries, with predetermined conslusions and favourable terms of reference.

This approach has been very successful, aided by energy surpluses and low energy costs at the time, (boosting productivity), and apparently cost free in the very short term.

This process was supported and promoted by the overwhelming power, dominance and influence of the combined business/media (a Business/Government/Murdoch/ ABC/media combination) gives pro growth policies an unstoppable and huge advantage. Most of these parties obviously or indirectly stood to gain from this growth.

Unfortunately this developed into a ponzi immigration scheme, simply because once started the scheme had to be maintained at levels sufficient to maintain its limited benefits and avoid its disadvantages.

In the process, and as an adjunct to this, Governments have allowed, perhaps encouraged, DIBC to become an immigration factory, and not an impartial Public Service Department to safeguard the Public interest. In fact quite the opposite. This process has incidentally created the perfect conditions for official corruption.

An early example of political abuse of the system might be the actions of Liberal Politician Philip Ruddock who as a backbencher, and later as a Minister, managed to persuade immigration Authorities to boost Lebanese migration into his electorate. Possibly his main intention was for a political advantage ( 'buying' loyalty) in a marginal electorate, but allegations of financial corruption also were raised later in respect of "payments" for visas.

About 9 million people (60% increase) have been added to the population since 1980 (14.6 Million)much of this by immigration.

Thus about half the national wealth (eg Resources and existing infrastructure) has been given away in that time to overseas persons, with a further 50 % to be given away in the next 20 years or so. Incredible. So that in a period of about 50 years about 75% of the original total of National wealth (eg. resources and infrastructure) will have been distributed to overseas citizens. And for what?

Many of these new persons are now approaching retirement or old age with major cost implications for health, welfare and aged care services. This financial burden will become increasingly unaffordable in its present form. ( The Treasurer and PM are aware of this, hence the budget panic).

The Australian Public are not blameless in this, but most have been indoctrinated into new thinking; many have apparently done well from the situation, unfortunately most believe that it can go on forever and that they can hold onto their gains forever. Sadly not.

Many put too much store in the honesty of Government, and the Public Service and our Media.

Unfortunately the media, including the ABC (the last bastion), was so busy dancing to the Government tune that they forgot why they existed.

3. What are the consequences?

Well, firstly all the local benefits were for short term gains (mainly political) or to the overseas migrant beneficiaries of these actions.

However, the national consequences are long term. All Australians will be affected, not just for 10's of years, but for 100's of years and possibly for millenias ahead, by, for example, huge public expenditures as yet unacknowledged, a broken economy and intergenerational poverty and misery.

Poulation growth now appears to be uncontrollable, for political and economic reasons. Regarding the political reasons, too much power has been conceded to interest groups and marginal electorate minorities). Governments might like to do something, but the Public and interest groups, will not allow it, ( eg the current situation where even modest budget changes are impossible).

To change the current rate of population growth and immigration levels to the levels required in the shortest possible time frame, would seriously affect the whole economy and the immediate loss of some industries (eg Overseas Education, which would collapse overnight without a favourable PR Based visa system , Shopping Centres and Retail shopping, and City Unit Development). I cannot think of a single Industry that will not be impacted. I cannot see any Government choosing, or being allowed, to do this.

So they, and we, are doomed if they do, and doomed if they don't.

The best we can hope for is modest amelioration; any actions are 20 to 30 years too late for even modestly positive outcomes. The die is cast, irrevocably.

On any sensible assessment, Australia will find its current population overload impossible to manage into the future, in every way imaginable. (eg principally Food, Climate and Energy security; employment, education, health, welfare being secondary problems). Risk Factors such as cultural diversity and security will also be relatively minor issues in the overall problem, but will become totally unaffordable and unmanageable in any conventional sense.

References

http://www.abc.net.au/tv/populationpuzzle/immigration.html and book: Critical years in immigration

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Comments

Every European-origin immigrant [first or second generation] to whom I have spoken recently begins by affirming a commitment to immigration. A little conversation plus recent developments, however, result in a slight shift of position. Pre-1965 immigration [quotas based on 1890 composition of the US population] is fine because it built upon the cultural understandings of a European-origin liberal republic.

Post-1965 immigration, with its emphasis upon multiculturalism and family reunification as the principle guiding which immigrants to accept, is another matter. Interesting that the Dutch appear to be firmly rejecting the notion of multiculturalism. See below:

GO DUTCH. KEEP YOUR SELF AND YOUR LOCAL M P INFORMED!!!! KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

Scrapping multiculturalism.................worth reading!

Description: 1C2DDBC11FC14032B27202DC7C21CB9A@user0d113f1c91

Go Dutch . . . But Why Wait Until 2015?

The Netherlands , where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism.

The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants to create aparallel society within the Netherlands .....

A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads:

"The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people".

In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role.

With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.

The letter continues:

"A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens."

It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands ..

The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants.

For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language, and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.

The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner;

"It is not the government's job to integrate immigrants."

(How bloody true).

The government will introduce new legislation that outlaws forced marriages and will also impose tougher measures against Muslim immigrants who lower their chances of employment by the way they dress.

More specifically, the government imposed a ban on face-covering, Islamic burqas as of January 1, 2014.

Holland has done that whole liberal thing, and realized - maybe too late - that creating a nation of tribes, will kill the nation itself.

The future of Australia , the UK , USA , Canada and New Zealand may well be read here..

Countries like Holland , Canada , USA , UK , Australia and New Zealand have an established way of life that actually works, so why embrace the unworkable?

This gives a whole new meaning to the term, 'Dutch Courage' ...... Unfortunately Australian, UK , USA , Canadian, and New Zealand politicians don't have the ..... guts to do the same. There's a whole lot of truth here!!!!

ELECTIONS are COMING!!!!!

A Nation of Sheep, Breeds a Government of Wolves!

Let's Take a Stand!!!

So the Dutch are saying that Multiculturalism isnt working, but instead of admitting the error they are changing the narrative. Assimilation is considered racist, or not racist depending on who is demanding it. now the narrative will change, the multiculturalism was really racist all along, as it was based on exclusion and that assimilation is inclusion as it is about equalizing and forcing togetherness.

Of course, one will still not be able to question why a nation as small as the Netherlands, which has high population density and is partly based on land reclaimed from the sea, should continue with population growth by outsourcing breeding and why it is considered unthinkable that the population of a nation of people should grow and shrink based on peoples reproduvtive choices and not policy.

Despite record-breaking immigration rates, Australia still does not have enough skilled workers? Authorities in Darwin and the Pilbara are hoping to gain ­approval for the regional migration agreements to fill a growing skills gap, as locals leave their jobs to join giant resource projects. The Abbott government insisted the skilled foreign workers could not be paid less than a local employee in the face of furious claims from Labor and unions that wages would be cut.
Of course, they lure foreigners instead of people in our cities facing high unemployment!

Employers will be able to hire foreign workers on salaries up to 10 per cent below standard rates for skilled migrants under a new federal government plan to "ease dangerous ­labour shortages". The reduction of wages for skilled migrants reveals the suspected true nature of the reason for recruiting foreign workers at a time of record unemployment in Australia! It's an attack on our wages and working conditions. It falls right into the hands of the elite wealthy, such as Gina Rinehart, who will have access to cheaper labour, and migrants who are unlikely to join unions or demand rights. It's a two-pronged attack, with foreign workers and migrants undercutting Australians with skills who need employment.

The claim that we have "dangerous labour shortages" at a time of peak youth unemployment is a slap in the face to young Australians who want to work but continually have doors of opportunity shut in their face - to both employment and affordable training/educational opportunities.

We assume that our government has the best interests of Australians, the voters, at heart, but their persuit of free market economics at all costs, and their caving into the lies and lobbying of greedy corporate employers, shows that they have no such standards or duty-of-care. Jobs created in Australia should be for Australians, and the globalisation of Australia's jobs is an attack on the labour movement and trade unions.

Our labour market is leaking, and any effort to lift the employment rate is an effort against our government's own policies! What's rotten at the core is politicians who enjoy privileged lifestyles and have lost contact with the public, the grass-roots, and any understanding of the motto "a fair go"!

twitter.com/CFMEU_National:Union bid to expand 457 visa job advertisements (1/10/14)

Unions are campaigning against a proposal to abolish the requirement for employers to advertise jobs before filling them with overseas workers on 457 visas.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) has analysed government data showing the number of 457 visa nominations had almost doubled from 9.8 per cent to 19.1 per cent in the first six months of the introduction of labour market testing.

The rejection rate of 457 visas for occupations that were not subject to labour market testing fell only slightly, from 7.9 per cent to 7.3 per cent, over the same six months.

...

The former Labor Government introduced the requirement that employers advertised jobs in professions including engineering, nursing and technical trades before filling them with foreign workers.

CFMEU national secretary Michael O'Connor said the initiative reduced the number of 457 visa approvals when employers failed to demonstrate that no qualified Australian workers were available for the job.

Mr O'Connor said the labour market testing requirement covered about a third of occupations and had proved to be effective.

"Asking an employer to advertise a job vacancy before they make the claim they can't find somebody is not too much to ask," he said.

"Why are people using 457 workers for low-level clerical work and nursing when you have graduate nurses unemployed?"

Mr O'Connor said, despite a rise in unemployment, particularly for younger people, 108,870 people were employed on 457 visas as at June 30.

...

Mr O'Connor said the Fair Work Ombudsman had found rules for the employment of people on 457 visas had been breached in 40 per cent of cases. Most related to the underpayment of workers.

The National Union of Workers (NUW) is also campaigning against the underpayment of workers employed by chicken processing company Baiada.

Pedro Vannea started working as a boner at Baiada's chicken processing plant in South Australia in 2007 soon after migrating from Cambodia.

His job was terminated late last year after he slipped on chicken skin and injured his ankle.

The NUW successfully lodged an unfair dismissal claim against Baiada that was being appealed.

...

I am surprised that this report on 457 visas has received so little attention or comment.

The Executive summary notes that employees have widely complained that :

“….is too easily subverted and, in practice, can turn into a free-for-all, to the disadvantage of
Australians.” (page 8)

"In submissions and interviews, both employers and employees expressed dissatisfaction with the current system, employers because they say it is inflexible and does not reflect the rapidly - changing nature of the Australian labour market, and employees because they say it is too easily subverted and, in practice, can turn into a free - for - all, to the disadvantage of Australians. "

Considering the number of young people dropping out of the workforce and unemployed, this deserves more attention. However as it is buried in a lengthy report it does not surprise me that it has been largely overlooked.

Read it at :-

http://www.immi.gov.au/pub-res/Documents/reviews/streamlined-responsive-457-programme.pdf

In the same context, Easy Migrate has been running an advertisement in the West Australian newspaper featuring their 95% success rate and offering a discounted first consultation at $60 , cf regular charge of $100, for first consult. They cover a wide range of visa and migration classes, including student, visitors and permanent settlement. Feedback from users gives an interesting insight into their wide ranging "fix almost any problem” activities.

P.W.