Immigration Report Finds 457 Visas Rarely Rorted

03 May 2013


Immigration News

An Immigration Department report has highlighted the need to strengthen the 457 foreign worker scheme but found only rare instances of clear abuse.

Earlier this year Immigration Minister Brendan O'Connor announced a crackdown on the visas, alleging rorting of the scheme.

Ever since, the Opposition and industry groups have been demanding he produce evidence to back up the claim.

Mr O'Connor at the weekend claimed that one in 10 visas were being used illegitimately.

However, the report provided to the minister late last year found little evidence that employers discriminated in favour of overseas workers.

The Opposition's immigration spokesman Scott Morrison told PM the report does not support the minister's claims.

"This report obtained by the Coalition under Freedom of Information demonstrates some fairly routine housekeeping changes to the 457 scheme," Mr Morrison said.

"It certainly doesn't anywhere justify the sort of inflammatory rhetoric and trash talking of schooled migration that the Prime Minster and Minister O'Connor have engaged in.

"Nor does it in any way provide any evidentiary basis for the sort of claims they've made about 10,000 people rorting the system.

"It just demonstrates, frankly, some fairly routine commonsense suggestions and these are matters that would quite normally be dealt with fairly uneventfully."

Mr Morrison said in February that the Minster announced all of the measures recommended in the report but also handed industrial officers from Fair Work Australia broader workplace access powers.

"Now I didn't see anywhere in that report where the Department of Immigration said 'We want someone else to do our job'," he said.

"This Minister and his predecessors have cut the resources for enforcing and policing abuses in the immigration system by 30 per cent over the last five years."

Mr Morrison said the Government's rhetoric about the scheme had been "unedifying and very unhelpful" and was not warranted by the report's findings.

Mr O'Connor was unavailable for an interview, but his office says the report is only one of several pieces of information used to formulate the Government's reforms.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-02/immigration-report-finds-457-visas-rarely-rorted/4666434


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