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457 Visa rort revealed

by Federal Labor MP Kelvin Thomson – previously published (5 Feb 2015) on

It is troubling to hear reported today more allegations of fraud and rorting within Australia's migrant worker program, with the Immigration Department conducting a series of raids on a multinational firm working on major Australian mining and infrastructure projects.

The raids targeted the offices of Murphy Pipe & Civil (MPC), with documents and other material seized. The firm has allegedly assisted dozens of Irish workers to fraudulently obtain 457 temporary skilled and other visas.

These allegations make even more worrying the Liberal Government's decision to relax requirements around 457 'temporary' work visas to make it much easier for Australian businesses to import foreign workers, as well as seeking to introduce a "short-term mobility visa", which would allow employers to hire specialised workers for up to 12 months.

In an economy where unemployment is a big problem, a situation that will get worse before it gets better as mining investment unwinds and the local car industry closes, it makes no sense to be relaxing foreign workers visas.

The Prime Minister talks about "growth and jobs", but the real intention of this government is to use the migration program to drive down wages and conditions, using the global labour market to smash trade unions.

ACTU President Ged Kearney and Secretary Dave Oliver are absolutely right to focus on the rorting of 457 visas – they constitute an existential threat to the trade union movement.

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TAFE institutions around Australia are struggling under the impact of state budget cuts, and underfunding.
Courses are being cut, student fees have risen, campuses are closing and teachers are losing their jobs.
Communities across the country are rallying to support their highly regarded, world-class TAFE system.
Yet, our we have so-called skills shortages, of needs that can't be met in Australia? So, we have 457 visa holders and other categories of imported skills when the budget for TAFE has been axed!
With increasing unemployment, especially youth unemployment, how are they to get the skills, and if they do, they are then by-passed in favour of imported skilled workers. Multinational corporations are so powerful they are able to set and implement their own agendas, and dictate to governments the policies they want.
We don't have any skills shortages, but government bereft of ideas and patriotism for Australia. It's all about globalising Australia, and eroding our sovereignty to dumb-down the country as a global resource for mining quarries, cheap labour, and high rise apartments to warehouse them in!
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