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Australia's governments are coordinating an unarmed invasion without your permission

Some highlights (or lowlights) from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. (All passages are quotes from the ABS website). The only thing good is that there is now more public discussion - despite the government and mainstream press wanting to suppress anything except the propaganda that growth is good. The incoming diaspora is not some irresistable force of nature; it has been coordinated by Federal and State Government policy in cahoots with the commercial growth lobby.

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http://www.census.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3101.0Jun%202009?OpenDocument

Natural Increase to net immigration rate:

For 2008-09 natural increase was 157,000, and net overseas migration 283,300. No matter how you measure it, net migration has never been so high. (p. 10 has the overview of the main data.)

Natural increase for the 12 months ended 30 June 2009 was 157,800 persons, an increase of 8.4% (or 12,200 persons) on the natural increase for the year ended 30 June 2008 (145,600 persons).

Births

The preliminary estimate for births during the year ended 30 June 2009 (300,900) was 4.6% higher than the figure for the year ended 30 June 2008 (287,700).

The total fertility rate (TFR) for the year ended 30 June 2009 was 1.978 babies per woman.

For the 12 months ended 30 June 2009, Australia's population growth rate (2.1%) was almost double that of the world (1.1%).

After a recent increase in growth, Australia is now growing at a faster rate than many countries including the Philippines (2.0%), Papua New Guinea (1.7%), Malaysia (1.6%), India and Hong Kong (both 1.4%), Indonesia (1.2%), Viet Nam and Sweden (both 1.1%), United States of America (1.0%), Canada (0.9%), China (0.6%), France (0.5%), the United Kingdom (0.3%) and Republic of Korea (0.2%). The populations of Greece, Italy and New Zealand all failed to register a
significant growth rate (both 0.0%). Further, Japan experienced a decrease in its population (-0.2%). One country that experienced faster growth than Australia was Singapore (2.2%).

Impact

Australians are losing control over access to housing, resources and ammenities, with incoming immigrant stream often much wealthier than the average Australian. There is something very wrong with a political system that allows this to happen, indeed encourages it.

In my view our non-representative 'representative' government comes from our land-use planning system, which favorises aggregation of private land, which means that private individuals and corporations can acquire more power than governments. Our governments, at Federal and State level, are hard to distinguish from private enterprise, with the ALP having massive property and financial investments, and, in government, running government owned investment and property development companies - with private intermediaries like Advance and other lobby groups, Progressive Business organisation and Labor Holdings and Labor Resources. Sources: http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2152596.htm, http://www.theage.com.au/national/labor-mates-linked-to-lucrative-winning-tenders-20090808-edlz.html, http://www.theage.com.au/national/in-the-murky-world-of-lobbying-mateship-is-king-20090808-edm6.html, etc.

What you can do

Be aware of what is happening, and try to educate other people.

Tell people overseas - notably in Britain, the source of many immigrants - that the government and private immigration agents are misrepresenting Australia as a big empty country.

Say that we are 75% rangelands (grasslands) and desert. The interior is flat and salty, with few permanent water-sources. Our rivers are slow-flowing and lose much of their water to evaporation. Our soils are thin and infertile - because the land has been worn down by erosion, without recent input from glaciers (as in Europe), river deltas (as in India) or volcanoes (as in Indonesia), which contribute to fertile soils.

Most people live on the South Eastern and the South Western coast. There is only one well-watered populous settled interior area, around the Murray Darling Basin, which is our major river system. Unfortunately this area is on the brink of ecological collapse. That means that we may lose our capacity to feed our own population in the manner to which it has become accustomed.

The only reason we appear rich is that we have shared a relatively small GDP among a relatively sparse population, like Argentina - which increased its population and lost that advantage. In fact, Australia is roughly comparable to Central and South American countries with low density indigenous populations and aggressive agricultural and mining colonisation.

Australia's GDP relied on the agricultural rape of the soil, which is ongoing, and on serendipitous gold-rushes and other mineral booms and speculation on real-estate. It now relies increasingly on selling off our assets, including finite supplies of minerals and hydrocarbons, along with flogging real-estate and the illusion of permanent jobs associated with ephemeral service industries.

There are severe water problems in most cities, massive public and private debts, housing shortages. Australians work extremely long hours, their industrial relations rights have virtually disappeared, the work-culture is cruel and competitive in the worst way, and obesity is rising.

Say emphatically that Australians were not consulted about this massive program of immigration. Say that we may appear like a democracy, but that we are being treated still like a colony, with cheap workers and an extractive economy. The suicide rate is up and so is obesity.

Neighbours is a developer's wet dream and more and more people live like Kath and Kim, like aging, half-educated children, herded into 'estates', reliant on cars, with shopping center, commercial parlor games and more debt their only desolate outlet.

This was never the Australian dream.

Skippy is being starved out and chased onto the road for new developments to accommodate off-shore purchasers.

Say that the government is working with big business to take over our agricultural land and making it almost impossible for people to supplement their incomes by growing their own food.

Say that our native animals are being hounded to extinction, losing their habitats to urban expansion, and our cities are being turned into inhospitable and unnatural glass and concrete human menageries.

Write for candobetter - in comments and articles - on your feelings about this, since we represent one of the few 'free presses' in Australia. Write for other good internet publications. Join and assist protests by groups like Planning Backlash, Protectors of Public Lands, and Sustainable Population Australia, Australian Wildlife Protection Council. Eschew professional 'conservation' organisations and councils that receive grants from government or from big business.

If you are a member of any political party, raise the issues at stake and encourage your membership to get behind Kelvin Thomson's point population reform plan. Point out that your leaders are not representing the electorate or the party membership and look around for new leaders. Form breakaway groups if you can.

Your party leaders will not thank you - yes, not even the Greens. Unfortunately, the 'authorities' are simply not to be trusted; they have parasited an undemocratic situation. You will encounter severe opposition from a self-important few. That is how things got this way; anyone who raised the issue of population stability or reduction would be attacked by stooges. But people will note your courage and gradually you will find support.

There is the beginnings of a ground-swell, however, and if you and I stand up to be counted, others will.

Every day the problem gets worse; everything we can do to reverse the process or slow it down, gains time for more action.

In solidarity.

Comments

How is it that Kevin Rudd, presumably concerned by climate change, yet at the same time has increased the number of permanent and long-term migrants arriving in Australia to more than 500,000 a year?

Most of our leaders have a law, administration or business background, and as such worship growth and are basically environmentally and scientifically illiterate.

If Kevin Rudd was really sincere about climate change, his strategies would focus on stabilising our population and optimising our lifestyles with less reliance on carbon emissions, not on a tax that exempts the biggest polluters - the coal and livestock industries!

Climate change is threatening Australia's coastlines, our liveability, our biodiversity, our waterways and our agricultural outputs. Surely our Government is being reckless allowing more people to come here?

Population growth and climate change are diametrically opposed. If Kevin Rudd is a climate change skeptic he should say so and not play out a political charade to fool the public.

There has never been a debate about immigration or population, or a scientific assessment of our carrying capacity. The elephant in the room is being ignored!

(Sent to various recipients today 9 December 2009)

Comment by Kelvin Thomson on Record Immigration Numbers

· The record number of migrants is fuelling runaway population growth in Australia, and it’s time the skilled migration program and temporary entry work permits were seriously cut back.

· The ABS figures for the year to June show net overseas migration at 285,000. It should be cut back to 70,000. We can do this while increasing the refugee program and keeping family reunion relatively constant.

· Last year’s record population growth for Australia of over 440,000 is taking us down the road to environmental disaster. It is making a mockery of our obligation to pass on to our children a world, and an Australian way of life, in as good a condition as the one our parents gave to us.

· Two examples from the last couple of days – first the Penguin chicks at Phillip Island who starved because there is simply not enough fish in the sea for the adults to bring home to them. Second, the Reserve Bank’s interest rate rise this week. Interest rate rises are being fuelled by house price rises, and these are being fuelled by population growth. Housing affordability is falling, and our children are being denied the same opportunity to purchase a house that we had.

· Population growth is galloping along on all fronts – the number of migrants, students and long term workers is up 15% compared with last year, the number of departures is down, and the birth-rate is up – a record 300,000, with a fertility rate of 1.98%.

· This is putting pressure on water supplies, and upward pressure on food, water, petrol and energy prices. It is damaging the quality of life in our cities through traffic congestion and loss of open space. And everybody’s talking at the moment about how to cut our carbon emissions. It’s pretty hard to reduce your carbon footprint when you keep adding new feet.

When we have an annual record 383,000 net migration this last year, this is tantamount to foreign invasion by stealth. It is an 'immigration invasion'.

It is being led by Kevin Rudd and Australians are being pacified and re-educated into believing misleading justifications like economic growth, addressing skills shortages, multi-culturalism, being a world citizen, etc.

Pacification is the final stage of any invasion and we're copping that when all criticism gets morally put down as 'racist'. But race has nothing into do with it. The problem is the sheer numbers, not whether they're from Suffolk or Timbuktu.

Australia's post-WWII notion of 'populate or perish' was a falsehood promoted by PM John Curtin's man Arthur Caldwell, fearing Australia's vulnerability to invasion from the north in the wake of how close the Japanese got in 1942. Our government no longer uses the justification 'populate or perish'; it's been long tried, debated and dismissed as nonsense.

But Rudd's Mass Immigration is nonsensical. He is fuelling domestic demand on the one hand and yet supposedly leading the international charge to cut greenhouse emissions on the other side of the world. Is this two-faced, dumb or is there an ulterior motive? Look at all the stress increasing population is putting on urban infrastructure and resources in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane - where all most of the migrants chose to stay! There is an absence of demographic planning to spread the populatiion demand burden. Rudd is accelerating urban sprawl in these cities, repeating California's Dust Bowl Migration of the 1930s which caused the massive urban sprawl in Los Angeles. We have also adopted the US 20th Century car-centric urban design model. Rudd has a 20th Century US mindset and prima facie condemning Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to a Hong Kong vision.

A consequence of this invasion is the emergence of ghetto cultures. Assimiliating Immigration (sporadic, small scale) works when a few from many different nationalities integrate, then after a few generations they assimilate into the mainstream culture. New Australians learn the language, acclimatise, get accustomed to Australian mores and values. We witnessed this gradually, progressively over decades with the Greek and Italians, then the Vietnamese, and we are midway through with the Lebanese. Each of these people in many cases were fleeeing poverty, like the initial British colonists a hundred years before them. They were seeking a new life and opportunity in Australia. They keenly acculturate, adapt, blend in, intermix and become accepted as Australians. This is how immigration should work to maximise the benefits to both settler and host country and to minimise the problems...again to both settler and host country.

But the 'Rudd Gates' policy of Mass Unsustainable Immigration is churning such a mass influx of new arrivals in such a short time. The social outcomes have been ignored is a desperate attempt to maximise the perceived faster economic benefits. New arrivals are abandoned at the airport arrivals gates to fend for themselves. With so many arriving so quickly, there is no time for them to properly assimilate into Australian society, culture and way of life.

Through no fault of their own, new immigrants without a sense or compulsion of assimilation retreat to their own group and end up forming ghettos of different cultures, quite emotionally detached from the Australian maintream. How ist thsi good for the host coutry Australia and indeed these new arrivals? This government abandonment helps no-one - the locals, nor the new arrivals. Immigration without active integration is flagrant social neglect and abuse on a national scale to all involved.

Mass unsustainable immigration over a short time has been shown to cause a deculturation of the prevaling society's values, cultures and ways of life. On only has to look at the social outcome and costs of the mass influx of Turkish immigrants in Germany, or the recent mass influx of Middle Eastern muslims into Switzerland or closer to home at the 2005 Cronulla Riots.

Mass immigration without integration unnecessarily hightens the risk of fuelling social friction and antagonism on both sides. It breeds nationalism and in the worst cases, racism and racist violence. And it is all because governments naively manage complex societies with an economic hat on, wanting to boost its economic performance figures.

But immigration without integration and assimilation is effectively a decultural invasion, that threatens the identity of the imcumbent culture. Look at what a Koel does:

"The Common Koel is a brood parasite, that is, it lays its eggs in the nests of other bird species. Common hosts are the Red Wattlebird, Anthochaera carnunculata, friarbirds, the Magpie-lark, Grallina cyanoleuca, and figbirds. A single egg is laid in the host's nest and once hatched the chick forces the other eggs and hatchlings out of the nest." [SOURCE: http://birdsinbackyards.net/bird/54]

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

Tiger Quoll, thank you. Rudd annoys me. He burns up environmentally polluting aviation fuel sashaying around the world almost non-stop inside a low-occupant aircraft. Reports are that he engaged in a Copenhagen "secret deal".

The deal I am waiting for is the one that, in no uncertain terms, tells the over-populated nations that there will be no money for them if they don't sign a treaty that promises population reduction.

What's going on? If climate change is indeed the result of human activity, wouldn't it be somewhat mitigated by a serious reduction in human numbers? I've heard absolutely nothing from Copenhagen representatives of the teeming hordes on this aspect of eco management.

Australian culture has been disregarded, diminished and therefore stolen. It has been given up for self-congratulatory political reasons. Time and again the Australian population expresses the view that 'multi-culturalism' has replaced 'Australianism'. Who said "Give us our daily boat"... and so the boats keep arriving.

Thinks Rudd, good Christian samaritans are we, so Rudd gives us this day our hourly plane load, and asks us to forgive those who trespass against us.

Well this once tolerant Australian has had a gutfull. Liberal/Labor (Lib-Lab) governments at federal and state levels have driven immigration since post-WWII on the misguided unquestioned belief that more migrants necessarily means more economic growth means more wealth. But with more people, the share of the Australian pie is proportionally diluted. Now the numbers have exceeded optimal resource capacity and we are suffering dilution of Australia's once prized living standards.

I feel for the Aboriginal Australians who back in the late 1700s must have watched in disbelief as hundreds of white fella disembarked boats and then drove them off their lands.

Every day in the Australian newspapers we read of population pressures causing some resource problem. It is pushing up prices of housing and utilities and soon economic druids will wake up to there being an interest rate problem, then an inflation problem.

I used to be part of the tolerant Australia, but that tolerance has been abused. I'm not even Christian so I don't subscribe to any of what Rudd preaches.
Amen.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

"With so many arriving so quickly, there is no time for them to properly assimilate into the Australian culture and way of life."

I’ve noticed there is a belief held by many pro-immigrationists that supposes that Australia is just another Antarctica: not a real nation with a culture and identity of its own and with a right to control who comes in, but just some sort of international treaty area like Antarctica that belongs to whoever wants to come.

An extreme version of the “Antarctica argument”, one which could be called the “Bad Guest syndrome”, is the argument one hears frequently from newly-arrived immigrant groups that the very generosity with which Australians have welcomed in large numbers of immigrants means that they no longer have a nation of their own and no longer have the right to decide who may enter Australia and live among them.

According to this view, no one has the right to limit immigration to Australia, not even the Australian electorate (not that they’ve ever been consulted on immigration policy!). Nor do immigrants owe Australians any debt of gratitude for inviting them in, because you see they’re aren’t any Australians anymore, for they have been multiculturalised out of existence.

As historian Geoffrey Blainey remarked, "One almost detects a deathwish at work." According to Blainey, many of those who advocate mass immigration and multiculturalism "believe that we should not be a nation but a subsidized rooming house for the peoples of the world - a rooming house without any safeguards which a nation needs for its preservation." Presumably, such people would be happy to see the traditional Australian culture and identity disappear forever.

Hello, I found Rudd-Led 'De-Cultural Invasion' of Australia very interesting - Chilling - but interesting.

I have been very aware of these issues - for years. No one wanted to listen to an Hysterical - probably menapausal... female.

I'm now 52.. and I am shaking my head; I'm quite frightened by what is happening in Australia - how do we stop the unsustainable population EXPLOSION!?!

I tried to deal with some of these issues in my own book, published this year (graphics by Mike Cook).

We wanted to raise awareness in a way that would engage readers... with humor - the book is, primarily - about the anti-smoking campaign - (it alienates its audience, rather than engages them...) and we compared smoking & other pollutions (and population explosion) - we addressed Civil Liberties...

There was ... is - so much to discuss that one little book hardly cuts it... but we tried...

www.somethingfunnygoingon.com is for Everybody - smoker or not - because we are concerned that rubbishy people with rubbishy values... are running the planet...

Once again, I enjoyed the articulate and informative way you wrote your piece

http://pacificgatepost.com/2009/12/not-overheard-in-copenhagen.html

Are today's unemployment numbers to be trusted? Has unemployment fallen? I think my friends' sons are still looking for work - quite a surprise for upper middle class professional families to have unemployed university educated children with work experience in professional fields. Oh well the Australian labour market has shifted and these children bought up in Higgins haven't kept up with the changes. Meanwhile we will import labour on 457 visas to do the work these unemployed Australians used to have and can still do.

Thank you for allowing me to comment here. I am preaching to the choir but will go ahead anyway. I think these things are often more widely exposed in newspaper blogs, where political advisors go to measure the public mood.

Anyway, what has stunned me this week is that more than one hundred Australian bureaucrats used polluting jet aircraft to join the 15,000 other jet-setting climate change agitators in Copenhagen. The hypocrisy of this floors me.

There we have an onslaught of self-righteous panic-stricken who want to dictate to the rest of the world how each country manages its assets, its people, its economic structures. Anyone who democratically presents an alternative viewpoint is disparagingly dismissed as a climate change denier. Recently I heard Malcolm Fraser referring to Australians who don't approve of illegals attempting to queue-jump their entry into Australia as "red-necks".

These attempts to bludgeon alternative opinion into oblivion serve as reminders that power, in the wrong hands, can reap havoc.

As a milder example, the unfortunate global panic about the Y2K bug isn't far behind us.

The shocking absence of any Copenhagen debate ... on the likelihood that non-harmful population control could contain global warming to an increase of no more than 2 degrees, tells me that all national leaderships are so short on brains that they should be totally ignored until such work is undertaken.

The shocking absence of any Copenhagen debate, or advertised scientific assessment on the likelihood that non-harmful population control could contain global warming to an increase of no more than 2 degrees, tells me that all national leaderships are so short on brains that they should be totally ignored until such work is undertaken.

An even worse scenario for Australia, is the mad idea by one K. Rudd that there can be a S.E. Asia Union, where Australia with its population of 22 million would become a population dumping ground for the larger nations around us.

An even worse scenario for Australia, is the mad idea by one K. Rudd that there can be a S.E. Asia Union, where Australia with its population of 22 million would become a population dumping ground for the larger nations around us. Is this idea more to do with K.Rudd's ego, and ambitions to be Secretary General of his S.E. Asia Union just in case his application for Secretary-General of the UN falls over?

And on the United Nations, beware Australia. The push by the UN to impose a global order on countries that are doing quite nicely without the dramas and hatreds of foreign teeming hordes, is looming larger every day. Let's hope that the current Australian government doesn't sacrifice Australia's autonomy under the veil of self-congratulatory political expedience. We are seeing this every single day, in one form or another, under K. Rudd's subtle iron fist. But not so subtle really, because there are some who see right through agendas sooner than others.

Can someone please tell me what the projections would be if all nations were successfully encouraged to reduce their populations, and by what amount, by 2060, in order to curb over-demand on resources, thereby cutting carbon emissions to an environmentally safe level?

Would it be true to suggest that population control (and given the science on the lifetime eco-footprints of domestically confined animals, a similar reduction in their numbers) should be a first and soundly affordable first step?

I don't think that we can advocate human population control, without acknowledging the need for concomitant domestic animal control. The domestic animal industry is an equal contributor to environmental pollution. Whether or not we humans love and need to lean on companion animals should not exclude this side of a legitimate debate.

I am not calling for austerity control measures, but it seems to me that the measures being proposed by the Australian government and others, are overly complex, replacing common sense for confusion and international stress.

If anyone has any science or modelling on the levels to which curtailment of human and domestic animal populations would likely reduce the pollution that is causing so much Copenhagen hysteria, then I would love to read about it here.

Hello Sheila, as you've also emailed me the link to this page, I will email it on.. thankyou - quite distressing, and incomprehensible?!? Surely even the Commercial Growth Lobby must be able to see the outcomes here..

Every time we 'Import' either 'legitimate' Immigrants or 'Refugees off boats' - we should be looking not at their 'face value-numbers' - but their potential 'breeding' numbers... 2x2 =4!! (at least!)

I hope you don't mind my mentioning it again here, Sheila, but our book, while primarily dealing with ... Civil Rights, actually... and the smoking issue.. is also about - Populations and Pollution - an undeniable correlation, I'm sure you'd agree.

If people were to get the message, either by alarming, unalterable statistics represented here, or with my book, which deals with these issues in a somewhat humorous way... between us... we may get the messages across.

Our web address is: www somethingfunnygoingon.com

As I've promised, I will email this link and/or your email onto as many as I can

Best Regards

--and that this is becoming the norm -- but the article fails to note that this is a major reason that business groups lobby the government so hard to keep importing immigrants.

The article concedes a number of points that ought to be arguments against high immigration, yet fails to connect the dots. These points include:

1. "At least two-thirds of migrant workers are exploited with regards to their pay and conditions," Ms Kearney said.

2. "If an employer can access a temporary worker, employ them for half the minimum wage, exploit them to the degree we are seeing, that has to have an impact on the local employment market."

3. It also impacts other workers, forced to compete against those willing to work for less than the minimum wage — which is $22.13 for a casual worker.

4. Such practices place downward pressure on wage growth.

5. "Low wages in Australia has been a big issue over the past five years," economist Callam Pickering said.

6. "It has actively undermined household spending, keeping it at record low levels.

7. "Bringing people into the country, paying them below minimum wage, is not a recipe for economic success."

The ABC article also fails to note that the practice of underpaying immigrant workers, once it becomes the norm, is part of the point of claims that businesses “can’t get Australians to work for them”— which is usually true only in the rather dishonest sense that there is no point in employing an Australian when you can get an immigrant to work for illegally low wages. (And indeed an employer that used Australian workers might go out of business because their wage bill would be far higher than their competitors.)

Instead, if anything, the ABC article implies that reducing visa restrictions would stop employers exploiting immigrant workers, and then everything would be lovely.

Biased reporting is not just reporting that distorts the facts. It is also reporting that fails to join the dots, or that joins them selectively in one direction, and not in others.

Below is the original article:

Blackmail — the business plan for cheaper wages

By business reporter David Chau 23 Nov 2017

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-23/blackmail-business-plan-cheaper-wages/9177498

Underpaying migrant workers has become a business practice for unscrupulous employers.

For some employers, it is an easy way to boost the bottom line with a low risk of getting caught — hence there is little incentive to comply with industrial laws.

It has even been described as a "business model" by worker advocates.

"There are employers out there structuring the cost of doing business through stealing wages," said Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

"They use very exploitable migrant workers, and use the sickle of [the workers'] temporary visa status to enforce that."

Out of the 900,000 temporary migrants in Australia with work rights, those in the 457 visa category are a particularly vulnerable group — as many are hoping to attain permanent residency.

Getting away with wage theft

The ABC was able to interview Ben, a Sydney-based technician who is on a 457 visa (and who wanted to use a pseudonym instead of his real name).

Unfortunately, he is working for an employer who commits wage theft by routinely blackmailing him.

However, Ben chose not to complain to the authorities because the employer also regularly threatens to "get him fired" and "deported".

"My boss deposits [my salary of] $1,500 into my account each fortnight, then I have to withdraw $500 from an ATM to give back to him," he said.

"I was never in a position to refuse — otherwise, he wouldn't offer me the 457 visa."
Ben is ultimately forced to survive on $500 per week in Sydney, the city with the most expensive real estate in Australia.

Explained: The 457 visa

http://www.abc.net.au/cm/lb/8027378/data/457-visas-custom-data.jpg

What is a 457 visa and how many people have them?

But he is worried about the consequences of getting sacked before he attains permanent residency.

Under Australian immigration laws, 457 visa holders are allowed to remain in the country for only 60 days from the date their employment ends.

"If I get fired, I have two months to find a new job — otherwise I'll have to leave the country," Ben said.

"The immigration department told me I just have to find another employer." . . .

Exploitation affects the economy

"At least two-thirds of migrant workers are exploited with regards to their pay and conditions," Ms Kearney said.

"If an employer can access a temporary worker, employ them for half the minimum wage, exploit them to the degree we are seeing, that has to have an impact on the local employment market."

It also impacts other workers, forced to compete against those willing to work for less than the minimum wage — which is $22.13 for a casual worker.

Such practices place downward pressure on wage growth.

"Low wages in Australia has been a big issue over the past five years," economist Callam Pickering said.

"It has actively undermined household spending, keeping it at record low levels.

Why the 457 visa is going

http://www.abc.net.au/cm/lb/8451776/data/457-custom-image-data.jpg

After two decades and tens of thousands of visas, the 457 visa category has been abolished. But what was it and why does this matter?

"It has also kept inflation low [and] forced interest rates to their lowest levels in history."

The 7-Eleven scandal was just one recent example of a business, which systematically exploited migrant workers.
One in three migrant workers, who identified as backpackers and international students, are paid about half the minimum wage, according to research released this week by the University of New South Wales and UTS.
The study also showed most foreign workers are fully aware they are being exploited.

In addition, it found restaurants, cafes and farms — which employ fruit pickers — were workplaces which had some of the worst levels of underpayment.

"Visa workers represent 18 per cent of all the requests for assistance we receive," Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said.

"Given they are only about 6 per cent of the labour market, that does tell you they're over-represented in the cohort of people who aren't being paid correctly in the workforce."

Tougher penalties for employers

Ms James said the visa status of migrant workers, who complain to the Fair Work Ombudsman's office, will not be jeopardised.

"We can work with the Department of Immigration to ensure your visa is not affected because you've taken action to enforce your rights under the law to be paid your minimum wages."

In September, the Federal Government introduced the Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Act which increases penalties for employers' serious breaches of industrial law.

7-Eleven investigation

http://www.abc.net.au/cm/lb/6745470/data/7-11-custom-data.jpg

· 7-Eleven playing 'statistical tricks' in worker compensation scheme

· 'He made me scared': 7-Eleven worker speaks of intimidation

· Exploitation integral to 7-Eleven business model: insider

· 7-Eleven staff work twice as long at half pay rate

· 7-Eleven business model rips off workers, former ACCC boss says

· Convenience store empire 'built on something not much different from slavery'

"Now if a corporation rips off a visa worker and we can prove it was deliberate and systematic, that corporation will be up for over $630,000 potentially per breach," Ms James said.

"If you don't want to proceed, you will have that choice. But if you do, we can work with the Department of Immigration to ensure your visa is not affected because you've taken action to enforce your rights under the law to be paid your minimum wages.
But that is provided the employer is caught, and successfully prosecuted.

"Ultimately, low wages and cutting those wages undermines the success of the Australian economy," Mr Pickering said.

"Bringing people into the country, paying them below minimum wage, is not a recipe for economic success."
Becoming a permanent resident in Australia is the key to Ben's future.

As for why it matters to him, Ben explained: "It would give me the freedom to choose... to go back home by choice, and not because I'm forced."

If all goes well, he may also win the freedom to choose an employer who is willing to pay a fair wage — for a fair day's work.