The Labor Party has once again been caught out on immigration.
The Shadow Minister for Immigration Shayne Neumann and Shadow Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor this morning issued a media release saying overseas workers who come under the South Australian Regional Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) “could be paid 10 per cent less than local workers”.
This is not true. Migrant workers cannot be paid less than an Australian would be paid to do the same job.
This requirement has been in place for many years and continues to apply today, including for Designated Area Migration Agreements.
It’s a shame, but not surprising, that Labor’s Shadow Ministers do not understand the fundamentals of our immigration program.
It was the Coalition who implemented Labour Market Testing which ensures no position can be filled by a migrant if an Australian worker is available for that job. Labor Market Testing did not exist under Labor.
Labor, when last in Government, presided over a huge growth in 457 visa numbers and did little to protect Australian workers from being displaced by temporary visa holders.
FACT 1: The number of 457 visas granted hit a record high under Bill Shorten as Employment Minister with more than 126,000 visas granted in 2012-13.
FACT 2: Bill Shorten approved a deal with fast food outlets to bring in hundreds of foreign workers to flip burgers.
FACT 3: Brendan O’Connor when Immigration Minister admitted that over 10,000 visa holders were rorting Labor’s 457 visa program.
When we came into Government we cracked down on, and then abolished completely, Labor’s out of control 457 visa program. In doing so, we have significantly reduced the number of visas granted – less than 65,000 visas granted in 2017-18 compared to the 126,000 visas granted under Labor in 2012-13.
Salary has also increased in the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) program compared to the 457 visa program. In 2017-18, we saw a $15,000 higher average remuneration ($110,000 compared to $95,000 for the 457 visa program) demonstrating people are more highly skilled and experienced under the changes introduced by the Coalition.
The Morrison Government runs an orderly and sensible skilled immigration program-a program that is important for our economy and important for Australian businesses to grow and thrive, including regional businesses.
In stark contrast, Labor’s immigration policies will see immigration numbers soar and put small and regional businesses out of business, severely impacting our economy.
Labor has time and again proven that they cannot be trusted to manage our border protection and immigration programs, and they cannot be trusted to manage money. If you can’t manage money, then you can’t run the country. That’s why Labor is the Bill Australia cannot afford.