Key groups bringing together employers, employees and migrant welfare groups have jointly written to members of the federal parliament to urge them to oppose the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013 when it is introduced in the final two weeks of parliament.
The Australian Industry Group, Business Council of Australia and Migration Council Australia, in an open letter released today, have raised concerns at a lack of evidence and proper process associated with proposed changes to the 457 visa scheme in the Bill, along with the considerable risks posed for investment, job creation and economic growth.
The most damaging initiative in the Bill is a return to labour market testing, which was abandoned following a major departmental review in 2001 that found it was costly, ineffective and inferior to the system in place today.
Unwarranted regulation risks penalising all employers, their employees and skilled migrants, as well as undermining investment, skills transfer and development, and broader job creation to address a relatively small number of instances that may be dealt with through other means.
The groups call on parliamentarians to reject the Bill unless:
- the government provides hard evidence to back up its claims of widespread problems with the 457 program, and furthermore, shows why the few individual cases that have been identified cannot be managed within the scheme’s existing safeguards.
- the government subjects any proposed changes to the 457 visa scheme to a rigorous and transparent Regulatory Impact Statement before putting forward a legislative response.
Tony Melville, Director Public Affairs and Government Relations, Australian Industry Group, 0419 190 347.
Scott Thompson, Director Media and Public Affairs, Business Council of Australia, 0403 241 128.
Carla Wilshire, Chief Executive Officer, Migration Council Australia, 0409 363 888.