Concern over changes to 457 visas

Australia has abolished a visa programme - 457 visa - used by over 95,000 temporary foreign workers, majority of them Indians, to tackle the growing unemployment in the country.

According to the industries that employ overseas workers over locals, there are some jobs Australians just won't do.

"We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians".

More than 200 jobs will be removed from an existing list of about 650 eligible professions.

Owner of Yarrawonga Caravans Dean Goudie - whose industry has been scoffed at for its inclusion on the skilled work list - reacted to Tuesday's announcement saying Mr Turnbull "couldn't have been further from the mark if he tried".

A new temporary visa will replace the programme and last between two or four years, which Mr Turnbull said will "better target" skilled workers.

Victoria's Labor premier has welcomed the 457 visa changes, despite his federal Labor colleagues taking a more cautious approach.

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) said the new visas are not a threat to Australian jobs in the hospitality sector.

"I am sure the new visa norms will help skilled visa seekers but for the time being uncertainty prevails".

News of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's intervention came after Malcolm Turnbull met gas company chiefs in Canberra on Wednesday to try to resolve a looming domestic LNG supply crisis.

The Business Council of Australia said in a statement: "If we're serious about getting Australians into skilled jobs, we must also revitalise our neglected vocational education and training system which has been treated like the poor cousin of the universities".

"Most employers would hire an Australian if there were Australians that applied it's the same with nurses etc".

Gas industry giants will be forced to hand over information as the consumer watchdog launches an investigation aimed at ensuring Australian homes and businesses can access reasonably priced energy.

"Now that the government has taken this decision, it is crucial that they work with employers to get the details right and ensure industry's ability to fill genuine skills shortages is enhanced, not degraded".

"If you look at the facts here, we do have the need for a foreign workforce in some circumstances but I think it would become the default option in some instance".

"The government will deny their tough talk on immigration and plan to ban 457 visas is because of One Nation but we all know the truth!"

Aged care providers are concerned the sudden overhaul of the 457 visa scheme could negatively impact aged care recruitment, particularly in rural areas.

  • Leroy Wright