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Australia – 457 visa programme backtrack possible under new government

10 September 2013

There is a chance that the recent changes to highly skilled, temporary workers on 457 visas in Australia making them more expensive and tougher for employers to obtain, could be reversed with the change of government, according to australiaforum.com.

New Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will be officially sworn in next week, vowed in his election campaign to make skilled migration a central theme of his immigration policy. Abbott has not said whether his government will repeal sections of the recent 457 visa bill, or reverse recent fee rises across a range of visa sub-classes, but he has said that skilled temporary immigration is important for Australia.

Mr Abbott is on record as saying that the 457 skilled migration visa programme must be well managed, providing rapid access to skilled workers not available in the Australian labour market, with strong compliance action to assure high standards of programme integrity.

He criticised the recent changes introduced by defeated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd earlier this year, describing them as being ‘of deep concern.’

Meanwhile trade unions have declared they are ready to work with the incoming Coalition government to improve life for working Australians.

Ged Kearney, president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), commented: “We stand ready to work with the Abbott government on measures to improve pay and conditions for working people and to create jobs and training opportunities. While we are very concerned about some aspects of the Coalition’s workplace relations plans, Mr Abbott committed before the election that no Australian worker would be worse off under his policies,” she adds.

“On behalf of the union movement’s two million members and 10 million working Australians we will hold him to account on that commitment. If there is any sign of the new government bowing to pressure from businesses and going after people’s penalty rates, overtime or job security the union movement will vigorously defend those rights,” explains Kearney.

Iron ore magnate Gina Rinehart has called on the new government to fix Australia’s economic issues, which she says is over reliant on the mining sector. She had credited the sector for propping the country up, saying it is the reason Australia has not spiralled into debt of the same severity as Greece.

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