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457 visa changes to speed up process & migrant workers to receive same pay as locals
Old 19th December 2009, 01:26 PM   #1
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Default 457 visa changes to speed up process & migrant workers to receive same pay as locals

Changes to 457 visa will speed up process and migrant workers will now be paid the same as locals

By Babs McHugh

A review of the 457 visa program for skilled workers means they will now be paid the same as local workers.

From the first of January 2010, overseas workers will be paid what are known as market rates.

Immigration minister Chris Evans says it serves two purposes.

"It ensures overseas workers are not brought in more cheaply to undercut Australian workers and their conditions" he says.

"Secondly it ensures that Australian workers aren't disadvantaged because overseas workers will now be more expensive and preference will go to Australian workers."

Senator Chris Evans says other changes to the 457 skilled migration visa means overseas workers can be employed in a couple of weeks rather than waiting months.

He says the establishment of the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce and specialised skills processing centres around Australia will speed up applications for established sponsors companies.

The resources industry has been pushing for major changes to the 457 visa system as it gears up for another boom period.

However, Mr Evans says history shows it's other businesses that have a greater need for a streamlined visa system, not the massive mining companies.

"They actually suck labour out of other industries" he says.

"So what we saw in the last boom was that the resources companies were attracting labour but what we were finding is that industries in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane were losing their workforce as workers followed the money in the resources so the skills shortages were actually in the industries in those cities."

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