Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013; Second Reading
Of course, I am very happy to respond to the member for Scullin's questions. Yes, there should be adequate training. I have said in this place before, in reference to an Italian cheese maker at a cheese-making business in my electorate, that there should be adequate training of the employers in that business from the skilled migrant. The inquiry we did which I just referred to recommended that industry wages should also be adopted for those coming in on a skilled visa. So of course they should receive the same treatment. This is where, if there are any inadequacies, they should be monitored and dealt with. But the proportion of people that have been found not to have complied was about two per cent, I understand from the report I referred to.
This gives me the opportunity to say that one of the problems with the 457 visas since this government has handed them, essentially, to the union movement to control is that they have shifted the goalposts on some of the requirements—for example, the English language. It has not been thought out very well. If you are a Chinese cook in a Chinese restaurant, your English requirements are not the same as those of a doctor who might have come here from former Czechoslovakia and might be doing delicate operations. There are industry needs and industry nuances.
This is a cover-all sort of allegation that is made by the unions, that we have to lift the bar on English, for example. In terms of wages and conditions, this is prescribed in a 457 visa. It is not inexpensive to bring a 457 visa holder to Australia. It costs thousands of dollars. Initially you have to find them their housing and health care. There are the superannuation commitments that they are obliged to have. There is a base wage set out in the 457 visa conditions and, obviously, it should be applied. (Time expired)