Statement on 457 Visa Bill: Senate Must Take a Stand

“The Senate must take a stand against one of the most appalling policy debates in the current term of parliament and reject the government’s damaging Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill,” Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“The government’s proposed reintroduction of the tried and failed labour market testing regime was already mired in misinformation and poor process, and the amendments added today will only make a good, sensible scheme even less workable,” Ms Westacott said.

“After his regrettable campaign in which evidence of systematic wrongdoing has been absent, and official facts have been misrepresented, Minister O’Connor’s rushed amendments add needless new red tape which might please unions but risks bogging down an important program.

“With our competitiveness under extreme pressure now is a very bad time to be making it harder for critical skills shortages to be filled which not only enable major investments and projects to go ahead but which protect the job prospects of Australian workers.

“It is disappointing the House of Representatives did not reject the legislation outright given no evidence of systematic abuse was provided and given the complete absence of the appropriate regulation making process the government itself had previously committed to.

“As the house of review the Senate must now stand up for good policy and regulation making process, as well as the national economic interest, and reject this anti-business and anti-growth Bill,” she said.

For further information contact:
Scott Thompson, Director, Media and Public Affairs
Business Council of Australia
Telephone (03) 8664 2603 • Mobile 0403 241 128