Northern based Government Senator Ian Macdonald said he was optimistic the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa that will replace the 457 work visa will better meet the needs of industries in regional areas which struggle to find staff.
Senator Macdonald said while he supported the abolition of the 457 visa, it was crucial the conditions of the new visa would ensure some of the north’s biggest industries, such as tourism, horticulture and meat processing, were still able to access staff.
“Typically, these industries have been reliant on the 457 visa to fill critical labour shortages and I would be very concerned if the temporary visa failed to address the needs of employers in accessing staff with the appropriate skills,” Senator Macdonald said.
“I am assured, however, that the new visa will not only target skills shortages in regional areas, it will also take into account the particular needs of one of our biggest industries, the tourism sector,” Senator Macdonald said.
Senator Macdonald said the many of the jobs in regional areas typically hard to fill were often shunned by Australian workers.
“Abbattoirs in rural areas in particular, have in the past relied on foreign workers because they can’t find locals willing to do the work.
“I am pleased to see that the conditions attached to the new temporary visa will be honed to better reflect the real skills shortages that have impacted on these industries in the past, to ensure we are not only putting Australian workers first, but also meeting the needs of the north’s growing economy.”