Jobs safeguarded for Australians

Australian jobs will be safeguarded.

For Maranoa residents, as long as they are Australians.

Jobs for Aussies first, says Maranoa MP, David Littleproud.

Jobs for Aussies first, says Maranoa MP, David Littleproud.

Maranoa MP, David Littleproud, was commenting about the Coalition Federal Government’s decision to abolish the Subclass 457 Visa for foreign workers.

Critics though say the Government has bowed to Hansonism and Trumpism.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's announcement came hours before US President Donald Trump unveiled a "buy American, hire American" executive order that will crack down on guest worker visas and require more US goods to be purchased locally.

"This will ensure Australian workers are given the absolute first priority for jobs, while businesses will be able to temporarily access the critical skills they need to grow if skilled Australians workers are not available," Mr Littleproud said.

"In My electorate, there are some jobs - like doctors and abattoir workers in rural and remote areas - which have historically been very difficult to fill locally.

"So, under our new scheme, businesses could still hire foreign workers to fill critical skill gaps, but not if it was simply easier than hiring an Australian."

Mr Littleproud also believed tightening unemployment benefits could compliment the visa change. "There's about 730,000 long-term unemployed Australians, of whom around 460,000 are skilled," he said.

"I respect a decision not to relocate but, as a result, they shouldn't expect taxpayer-funded support through welfare. I have rural and remote communities crying out for skilled workers so my message is this: limit welfare to those skilled workers who won't relocate to the regions to take up a job."

The Subclass 457 Visa will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. The new visa will include mandatory criminal checks and tighter English language requirements.

"We're all about putting Australian jobs first. Labor sold out Australian workers by allowing a record number of foreign workers into the country, many not filling critical skill shortages," Mr Littleproud said.

"More than 110,000 foreign workers entered the country in 2013 under the former Labor government. Some were allowed to work in the fast food sector at the expense of young Australians who were looking for work.

"That will not happen under this government. We are making it easier for Australians to find work and we have restored order to our borders so we can ensure foreign workers have an opportunity to arrive through the appropriate channels.

"Additionally there will be tightened English language requirements for the Medium Term Stream.

"These changes will give Australian job seekers more opportunity to find work while finding the right balance so businesses can prosper by acquiring the expertise they need."

The new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa programme will comprise two streams – Short Term and Medium Term – and will be underpinned by more focused occupation lists that are responsive to genuine skill needs and regional variations across Australia.

Short term visas will be issued for two years, while medium term visas will be issued only for more critical skills shortages and for up to four years.

Both streams will include mandatory labour market testing with limited exemptions; a new non-discriminatory workforce test; mandatory criminal history checks; a market salary rate assessment and a new two-year work experience requirement.

The new visa will also include a strengthened training obligation for employers sponsoring foreign skilled workers to provide enhanced training outcomes for Australians in high-need industries and occupations. 

Implementation of the new visa will begin immediately, with full implementation to be completed by March 2018. 

For more details on the new visa and an explanation of transitionary arrangements for current 457 visa holders and applicants, visit: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/457-abolition-replacement

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