Visa changes highlight need for aged care workforce strategy

"It is well-known that (the) 457 visa system was scammed by many employers and businesses".

Responding to a query, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said that the government was examining consequences of the new policy in consultation with all stakeholders.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that the 457 skilled visa program will be replaced by a new visa with added requirements for temporary foreign workers.

However, the CEO of the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, Simon Bennison, has warned that if the proposed replacement visas are not sufficient Australia's worldwide completeness would suffer.

Mr Turnbull said: "We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs".

"This situation could be made even more problematic for aged care service providers who, when they able to secure the necessary skilled migrant workers, will have to overcome the additional hurdle of the worker being allowed only one onshore visa renewal under the Short Term Stream, after just two years", Mr Rooney said.

University of Sydney's Dr Dimitria Groutsis, who co-convenes the Migrants@Work Research Group, also says the abolition of the 457 visa is a backwards step.

As of last September, 95,757 workers in Australia were on 457 visas and 76,430 people were on associated secondary, or family, visas.

The government has been under pressure over foreign workers from left and right - from Labor (Bill Shorten introduced a private member's bill to tighten the 457 scheme), as well as from One Nation.

"Meat processors are the largest employers in rural and regional Australia, after mining, and the unexpected Turnbull government's announcement has sent shockwaves through the industry", Mr Hutchinson said.

The new temporary visa requires applicants to have work experience, a high standard of English skills and a criminal check.

Hear it here first - we're putting jobs first and we're putting Australians first by abolishing 457 visas.

Ms Sudmalis also used Facebook to publish a post, which linked to Mr Turnbull's video announcement and said: "Now there will be more employment opportunities #jobs #gilmore".

"I want you to be the first to know": Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia's controversial decision to scrap a visa programme for temporary foreign workers got a mixed response Wednesday, with critics slamming it as spin over substance and pandering to anti-immigration rhetoric. "Exploitation for some of these visa holders was not uncommon".

Lambert said the other major change is that the 457 visa is available for four years but the number of occupations that qualify for the four-year visa is "significantly less" than for 457s.

The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), which represents meat processors, said it was concerned that butchers and smallgoods operators would no longer be among the occupations for which temporary visas would be granted under new arrangements.

But critics argued that businesses abused it by paying foreigners lower wages than most Australians would accept.

The most viable short-term source of boosting domestic supply is via the Queensland LNG projects, according to Wood Mackenzie, although challenges remain to get the gas from the northern state down to Victoria and South Australia.

  • Leroy Wright